- Alabama opens as a 19.5-point favorite over Tennessee ahead of the rivalry game traditionally known as “The Third Saturday in October”
- The Crimson Tide have won four straight games against the Volunteers by at least 20 points
- Read below for a closer look at this matchup between the Tide and the Vols
Two teams in totally different positions will meet in one of the SEC’s biggest rivalries this weekend.
The Volunteers have been struggling mightily in recent weeks while the Crimson Tide have rolled, and that is reflected in the Alabama vs Tennessee opening odds.
#2 Alabama vs Tennessee Week 8 Opening Odds
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-19.5 (-115)||-1500||N/A|
|Tennessee Volunteers||+19.5 (-105)||+790||N/A|
Odds taken Oct. 18 from FanDuel
This rivalry has been all Alabama for over a decade. The Tide have won 12 straight against Tennessee, and the last four games in the series have been decided by at least 20 points. Under Nick Saban, Alabama has never lost to the Volunteers.
Now, Tennessee will have to break a demoralizing streak if it wants to avoid The Third Saturday in October becoming the third loss of October.
Tide Keep Rolling
After Saturday’s dominant win over Georgia, it’s tough to see anyone else coming up with what it takes to beat Alabama. Nick Saban’s squad dispatched of the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 41-24, and that is the best team on the Tide’s schedule by a mile.
Against the vaunted Georgia defense, Mac Jones cruised to a 417 yard and four touchdown day. As usual, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle were electric, with each gaining over 160 yards and combining for three touchdowns. Najee Harris had 152 yards and a score of his own as well.
Great teams are expected to handle business on a weekly basis, but even the best of the best play some tight games when they’re faced with elite competition. Georgia is a top five team, and they are one of the three or four most talented teams in the nation. It is beyond remarkable that Alabama made that win look so routine.
It is even more remarkable when you consider the fact that the Tide did not know whether or not Saban would be on the sidelines until Saturday afternoon after his positive test forced him to stay home for a big part of the week. With all things considered, this was one of the most impressive wins of the Saban tenure for Alabama.
Tennessee Reeling on Rocky Top
After a strong finish in 2019 and a 2-0 start in 2020, things have quickly turned sour in Knoxville. Losing to Georgia two weeks ago was frustrating but understandable, but it was the hideous loss to Kentucky on Saturday that has immediately heightened frustrations on Rocky Top.
Jarrett Guarantano tossed two picks to the Wildcats, and JT Shrout’s lone attempt was the third interception for Tennessee. Guarantano finished with a QBR of 4.4, and Harrison Bailey completed one of four passes on his way to a 3.0 QBR.
Meanwhile, Kentucky pounded the rock for 187 on 45 carries, an average of over eight yards per carry. Terry Wilson had an extremely efficient day, going 12-of-15 for 101 yards and a touchdown. Tennessee made a good Kentucky offense look like a juggernaut.
Where Will This Line Move?
After what Alabama just did to Georgia, and how poor Tennessee just looked against Kentucky, there’s no way the public money doesn’t come in heavy on the Tide in this game. They consistently beat Tennessee by wide margins, and this may be the most high-powered offense that Saban has had at his disposal in recent years.
If you’re backing Tennessee to take advantage of their offensive line and running game, eliminate the needless turnovers, and make things interesting against Alabama, you’ll likely get more value later in the week.