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Free Pick Breakdown & Prediction: Alabama vs. Tennessee (10/16)

By Nicolas Delgado
October 14, 2022
Photo by: Butch Dill - USA Today Sports

Alabama vs. Tennessee (10/16) @ 3:30 PM EST

Line: Alabama -7.5
Total: 65

Alabama vs. Tennessee Breakdown and Betting Odds

Two major SEC rivals are set to square off this Saturday as the No. 3 ranked Alabama (6-0) face the No. 6 ranked Tennessee (5-0). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST with the Crimson Tide favored by 7.5 points and the over/under set at 66.5.

The last 5 matchups between these two have been all Bama blowout wins by at least 3 scores, with the Crimson Tide covering in four out of the five games. This game has the closest spread between these two teams in over 10 years.

Alabama Overview

Bama has gotten off to a stellar 6-0 start and are currently ranked third in the nation. They’re coming off of their closest game of the season in a 24-20 victory against Texas A&M in which they failed to cover the -24.5 point spread. You could attribute this close score to the fact that the Crimson Tide were missing their star Heisman-winning quarterback, Bryce Young, who is still day to day with a shoulder injury.

Although Alabama coach Nick Saban said he is “hopeful” that his star quarterback will be able to play this Saturday, Young’s availability is still up in the air. Saban was also quoted as saying that Bryce has been a part of a limited practice this week, and that he was on a pitch count in practice on Wednesday.

If Young is unable to start on Saturday, backup Jalen Milroe, who put up a nice performance last week, will most likely get the start. Milroe threw for 111 yards and 3 passing touchdowns, also letting an interception go. Each of his touchdown drives took eight or less plays and were less than four minutes. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs had a huge game, rushing for 154 yards averaging 7.3 yards per carry.

Tennessee Overview

Tennessee is also off to a hot start this season, having not lost a single game and covering the spread in four of their last five. They’re coming off a blowout 40-13 win over the LSU Tigers that saw them cover the -2.5 point spread.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns, both to star receiver Bru McCoy. Running back Jabari Small also had two touchdowns, running for 127 yards on 5.8 yards per carry.

Tennessee’s offense is rolling this year, putting up over 46 points per game, which is good for the most in a loaded SEC. This can be attributed to their receivers, Jalin Hyatt and Bru McCoy, who are both top 15 in the conference in receiving yards. Their running backs, Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small, also rank top 15 in the conference for rushing yards.

TakingVegas.com 1* Free Pick: Tennessee +7.5

Due to the uncertainty around Bryce Young, we like Tennessee +7.5. With an absolutely stellar offense this season, we see Tennessee keeping this one close, especially if Bama’s starting quarterback is unavailable. This year also marks only the third time during the Volunteers’ 15 game losing streak to the Crimson Tide that they have even been ranked prior to the game.

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