Just in case you were worried about the Alabama Crimson Tide after their upset loss to Texas AM a few weeks ago, don’t be. Bama is just fine as witnessed by its bounce back thrashing of Mississippi State, 49-9, as a 17.5-point favorite on Saturday. They may have lost their No. 1 national ranking but few believe the Tide are not the best team in the country.
The Tennessee Volunteers have felt the full wrath of Alabama over the years and they are a huge underdog to end a 14-game losing streak in the series. Bama won the previous five meetings by an average margin of over 33 points while going 4-1 ATS and the Tide is laying 27.5-point on the opening line for Saturday’s matchup.
The Week 8 college football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Alabama Crimson Tide will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 23, 2021 and will be televised on ESPN.
Tennessee vs Alabama Crimson Tide Odds
Tennessee Volunteers +27.5 | Alabama Crimson Tide -27.5 [BET NOW]
Tennessee vs Alabama Crimson Tide Over/Under
Over/Under 68 [BET NOW]
The Vols just haven’t been good enough to keep up with the better teams on their schedule, which doesn’t bode well for Saturday. Last week’s 31-26 setback to Ole Miss as a 1.5-point home dog dropped them to 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS. They also failed to cover in losses to Florida and Pitt with those three teams posting a combined 14-5 record. I guess you could say Tennessee is making progress. The opening line of 27.5 points is the second smallest in the last five meetings with Alabama.
Responding the way a championship team should, the Tide rolled over Mississippi State 49-9 last week, easily covering the 17.5-point spread improving to 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS. Playing against double-digit lines is nothing new for the Tide and they are laying 27.5-points against the Vols. Bama has won 14 straight in the series while favored by at least two touchdowns in the previous 12 confrontations. They are 8-4 ATS in those games.
Hand it to the Vols for playing hard under Josh Heupel. The team lost a number of players before the season started as the transition to another coach was ongoing. But they’ve been competitive and had some good outings against lesser foes.
In their four wins they outscored opponents 201-50 with the up-tempo offense clicking. They haven’t had success against the better teams, though, going 0-3 SU and ATS against Pitt, Florida and Ole Miss. And the chances of ending a lengthy losing streak in this series are slim.
An injury to starting quarterback Hendon Hooker doesn’t improve their chances. Hooker was helped off the field late in last week’s loss after throwing for 233 yards and rushing for another 108 yards. Joe Milton, who opened the season as the starter, got the Vols within eight yards of the winning score before time ran out.
With Hooker possibly out and the offensive line banged up, we could see a conservative approach from Tennessee. The UNDER is 8-3 in their last 11 conference games. But even that likely won’t be enough against a bullish Tide squad.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Even the best teams take a blow now and then. How they respond is what makes them one of the best. And Alabama rebounded in the best way from its loss to Texas AM that ended its 19-game winning streak by slapping MSU on the road, 49-9.
The Tide scored early and often and the defense came up with a strong performance against a decent Bulldogs offense that had an additional week to prepare. With Bryce Young throwing for 348 yards and four scores the Tide amassed 543 total yards while holding the Air Raid MSU attack to less than 300 yards.
Nick Saban was critical of his club earlier in the season, especially after it tiptoed through a 48-14 win over FBS Mercer in Week 2. It could be that the loss to Texas AM was the needed wakeup call. It’s hard to get motivated every week when you’re a big favorite and winning is something Bama does in its sleep.
The Tide has had all kinds of success against Tennessee winning 14 straight by an average margin of nearly 26 points. And they control their destiny for another CFP berth. Winning out and beating Georgia in the SEC title game gives them a chance to repeat. And that should be enough motivation.
Tennessee vs Alabama Prediction
You’re not going to beat Alabama in a track meet so slowing things down might be the best approach for the Vols, especially with uncertainty at QB and on the offensive line. Still, you have to score some points since the Tide has scored at least 45 points in four of the last five meetings and they are averaging 45 points this season.
Bama has been favored by at least 27.5 points five times in the last 10 encounters going 4-1 ATS in those games. As inviting as the spread is I have to back the Tide at home.
Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide -27.5 and UNDER 68
View today’s college football Week 8 odds.