Alabama vs. Tennessee

No. 2 Alabama vs. Tennessee | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on October 23, 2020

No. 2 Alabama looks invincible offensively this season and hasn’t lost to Tennessee in nearly 15 years as the Crimson Tide visit Rocky Top on Saturday afternoon in SEC action. Bama is predictably a heavy favorite on the Mybookie NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Alabama at Tennessee NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: Neyland Stadium
  • TV: CBS
  • Stream: CBS Sports app, CBS All Access
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Alabama -21 (total 66)
Last Meeting

The Tide beat the Vols 35-13 last year in Tuscaloosa but didn’t cover a huge number. Then-star Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, now with the Miami Dolphins, left in the second quarter with an injury and didn’t return. The biggest play was Trevon Diggs recovering Jarrett Guarantano’s fumble on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and racing 100 yards for a touchdown. Tennessee could have cut the deficit to a touchdown, down 28-13. Bama’s Najee Harris rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns and adding 48 yards on four catches.

The two teams will be facing off for the 103rd time Saturday with the Tide having won the last 13 meetings. Alabama leads 57-38-7 overall but is 20-26-1 in Knoxville.

Why Bet on Alabama? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Tide (4-0) beat No. 3 Georgia 41-24 last week, blowing open a close game in the second half. The victory gave UA head coach Nick Saban his third win in the past four games over a former assistant coach and moved him to 22-0 against his former assistant coaches during his time as the Crimson Tide’s head coach. Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt is another former Bama assistant.

Saban initially tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 14 and went into isolation, but was able to test out of COVID protocol in time to coach the game after having three consecutive days of negative tests leading up to the game.

Against the Dawgs, QB Mac Jones notched his third-consecutive game with 400-plus yards passing, going 24-for-32 for 417 yards, tallying four touchdowns through the air and one interception. Jones connected with DeVonta Smith for a pair of scores and Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie Jr. III for one each. Jones leads the nation in yards per completion (16.87) and yards per attempt (13.2), while ranking second in completion percentage (78.3) and passing yards per game (379.5).

Smith had 11 catches for 167 vs. Georgia, while Waddle had six catches for a career-best 161 yards. Waddle has topped 100 yards in all four games this season. Najee Harris led all rushers with 152 yards on a career-best 31 carries. With his third quarter score, Harris has now posted at least one rushing TD in each of his last 11 games.

The Alabama defense came away with three picks, including two in back-to-back third-quarter drives which contributed to Alabama shutting down the Bulldogs in the second half. Overall, though, the defense has not been good on third down this season and the secondary has allowed 250 yards or more in each of the four games.

Why Bet on Tennessee? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Vols (2-2) fell out of the Top 25 with a shocking 34-7 home loss to Kentucky last week. UK jumped on top 17-0 in the second quarter despite its offense moving past the 50-yard line only once in the first half. It was the Wildcats’ defense putting all of those points on the scoreboard in a span of six-and-a-half minutes, capitalizing on three Vol miscues and turning two of them into scoring plays. The Wildcats snapped a string of 17-straight Vol home wins in the series that dated back to 1986.

Vols sophomore RB Eric Gray recorded his third career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 128 yards on the ground. Gray eclipsed the 100-yard mark in the first half alone (101 yards on 18 attempts). Gray ranks sixth in the SEC in total rushing yards this season with 298, and he is seventh in the league in rushing yards per game at 74.5.

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt has yet to announce whether the Vols will stick with fifth-year senior Jarrett Guarantano as their starting quarterback or make a change for this one. Guarantano was taken out of the game for one series Saturday after throwing a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns during the Vols’ loss to Kentucky. Guarantano is a 29-game career starter.

J.T. Shrout replaced Guarantano briefly in the second quarter, throwing an interception on his only pass attempt of the season. Freshman Harrison Bailey debuted during the fourth quarter, completing 1 of 4 passes. UT’s only scholarship quarterback who didn’t play against the Wildcats, sophomore Brian Maurer, also has dealt with knee and hamstring issues since the start of preseason camp but has been practicing.

Tennessee is giving up 362.0 yards per game defensively, which ranks fifth in the SEC, and the Vols boast the SEC’s second-best pass defense at 213.2 yards per game. UT has surrendered the fewest passing touchdowns in the SEC this season with four. The Vols have recovered four fumbles, which is second in the SEC.

Pruitt is 0-2 against his former team as a head coach. Pruitt was the defensive coordinator at Hoover High School the last time the Vols defeated Alabama (2006) Game Trends
  • Favorite is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
  • Crimson Tide are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
  • Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
  • Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
  • Crimson Tide are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings in Tennessee.
  • Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Tennessee.

Expert College Football Prediction

Alabama 45, Tennessee 23


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