Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trey Coleman
Tennessee 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +150000
- To make Playoff: +17500
- To win the SEC: +10000
- To win the SEC East: +2350
- Win Total: 5.5 (over -125, under +105)
Always shop for the best line.
Tennessee 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 4.9
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Tennessee Under 5.5 Wins (+105)
The Butch Jones era came to an end after an 0-6 start in the SEC last season. The Vols finished 4-8 overall and winless in SEC play, and that started a circus offseason in Knoxville.
Tennessee originally hired Greg Schiano, but backed off following a deluge of backlash from students and supporters. Ultimately, the job went to former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Pruitt hired USC passing game coordinator Tyson Helton to take over an offense that ranked 101st in efficiency in 2017. That is a steep ask, as the Vols rank 93rd in returning production on offense.
Former Stanford quarterback Keller Chryst is in camp, but Pruitt hasn’t committed to a starter. There are also plenty of question marks on the offensive line, though the return of tackle Trey Smith was the best news all offseason for the Vols.
Kirby Smart successfully built Georgia into a powerhouse after serving as Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator, and now Pruitt will look to do the same.
But it won’t be easy on defense, either. Tennessee ranks 117th in returning production on that side, and its secondary lacks experience. That may spell doom early in the year as the Vols take on elite quarterbacks like West Virginia’s Will Grier, then Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham several weeks later.
So Tennessee won’t catch a break with its schedule. The Vols should earn easy wins over East Tennessee State, UTEP and Charlotte, but games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt are essentially coin flips.
Even if the Vols beat Kentucky and Vandy, they will need to win as underdogs against either West Virginia, Missouri or South Carolina to cash the over.
Take the Under 5.5 wins (+105) as Pruitt rebuilds this program.
What else you need to know about Tennessee
Tennessee is 1-26 straight-up as a road underdog since 2009. The Vols will be in that spot against Georgia and Auburn this season, and could be in that spot against South Carolina and Vanderbilt.