Tennessee Volunteers will compete against the Kentucky Wildcats. See our college football odds series for our prediction and pick for Kentucky Tennessee. The thin air at the peak of the college football mountain, or more accurately, the Rocky Top of the hill, is currently being breathed by the Tennessee Volunteers. Since their road victory at Florida in early December 2001, the Vols’ 52-49 victory over Alabama has given this program its biggest moment in 21 years.
Tennessee won the SEC East title and advanced to the 2001 SEC Championship Game with a chance to play Miami Hurricanes in the BCS National Championship Game in the Rose Bowl after defeating the Gators that evening in The Swamp. Instead, a certain LSU coach tripped them up in the SEC championship game.
Tennessee was 0 for Saban since the coach joined the Crimson Tide in 2007, so the Vols’ ability to defeat him at Alabama for the first time provided them with a transcendent and transformative moment they had long sought but been unable to produce. The fact that Tennessee is now capable of performing at a high level is like manna from heaven for a program that last competed in a New Year’s Six bowl game in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl versus Nebraska.
Tennessee is aware that a crucial game against Georgia is coming up, but if it loses to Kentucky, the Georgia game will have far less significance. It’s time for Tennessee to figure out how to become the team that opponents are trying to beat. The Vols haven’t been in this situation for a very long time. In this game, they are confronting a growing-up moment.
This season, Kentucky has experienced a number of injuries, most notably to quarterback Will Levis. In a home loss to South Carolina, Kentucky paid the price for not having a completely healthy Levis. Although Kentucky is unlikely to receive a high-end bowl invitation, defeating the Vols, a team that has historically trounced the Wildcats, can help Kentucky save its season.
Mark Stoops, the coach, is a master of defensive strategy. When he faces Josh Heupel’s high-octane offenses, which are led by Heisman Trophy front-runner Hendon Hooker, he will be put to the ultimate test. When Tennessee Ferrari plays against Kentucky’s tough defense in Neyland Stadium, it’s a fantastic display of stylistic contrast.
Here are the college football odds between Kentucky and Tennessee, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Kentucky-Tennessee Odds
+11.5 for Kentucky Wildcats (-110)
Volunteers from Tennessee: -11.5 (-110)
Over: 61.5 (-110) (-110)
Under: 61.5 (-110)
Why Kentucky Could Cover the Spread
Although Kentucky’s defense will put Tennessee’s quarterback Hendon Hooker to the test, the Volunteers are currently on a roll. The other quarterbacks Kentucky has faced this season have been baffled by it. Anthony Richardson, a Florida dual-threat quarterback, was stopped by the Wildcats earlier in the season while traveling.
They contained Jaxson Dart, a mobility quarterback for Ole Miss, and the Lane Kiffin offense. The defense has not been to blame for Kentucky’s losses. Hendon Hooker might have a game full of turnovers in which the Vol offense stalls, but Mark Stoops has a strategy to contain him.
Why Tennessee Could Cover the Spread
Kentucky won’t be able to outscore Tennessee by nearly as many points. Although it’s possible that the Vols won’t score many points in this match, Kentucky needs to be able to score at least 30 points to prevail.
Most likely, the Wildcats won’t score more than 24 points. On a bad day, Tennessee may still win this game by a score of 34-20 or 31-17. Simply put, the UK offense is unprepared for this matchup.
Final Kentucky-Tennessee Prediction & Pick
The defense of Kentucky has been anticipating this confrontation. Although it won’t be able to win the game outright, it will be able to cover for the Wildcats and keep it close.