Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Betting Picks, Odds: Can Commodores Cover?

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Betting Picks, Odds: Can Commodores Cover? article feature image

Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton III (7).

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Odds

Saturday, Nov. 26
7:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Tennessee Odds
-115o / -105u
Vanderbilt Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The College Football Playoff offers captivating matchups of the best teams in the country, but none will be more compelling than the pseudo-playoff game occurring this weekend in Nashville.

A bowl-game berth is on the line for Vanderbilt as it hosts Tennessee to end the season. The 5-6 Commodores have shattered expectations and have a real shot at their first bowl appearance since the Derek Mason-led team played in the Texas Bowl in 2018.

Tennessee enters the intrastate rivalry after a crushing blowout loss to South Carolina that not only ended the Volunteers' Playoff dreams, but it also spelled the end of the season for Heisman candidate Hendon Hooker who tore his ACL against the Gamecocks.

The Commodores may have the support of many college football fans around the country, but do they actually have a shot against Tennessee to at least keep it within two touchdowns? Or will Tennessee bounce back, even without its star quarterback?

Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee's season went up in flames last week at South Carolina as the Gamecocks won 63-38, giving the Volunteers their second loss of the season. The added insult to injury was of course losing Hooker for the rest of the season as the Volunteers must now rebound from an emotional loss.

With Hooker, the Volunteers had one of the best offenses in the country, leading the nation in scoring and ranking second in passing offense. Without Hooker, Tennessee turns to Joe Milton.

There are certainly worse options for a backup quarterback than Milton who has completed 23-of-33 passes this season for 573 and six touchdowns and has played in 28 games over his five-year career in Knoxville and Ann Arbor, but he's a downgrade nonetheless.

Even without Hooker, Tennessee has plenty of firepower at the skill positions. Jabari Small and Jaylen Smith both have over 600 yards rushing and 18 combined rushing touchdowns.

Jalin Hyatt is one of six receivers in the country to average more than 100 yards receiving in the country, and no one has more than his 15 receiving touchdowns. An NFL-caliber quarterback is no longer getting him the ball, but he'll still be a headache for the weak Commodores secondary.

Tennessee has needed every point it could get from its offense this season because its own passing defense has been torched at times.

Spencer Rattler threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns last week for South Carolina, as the Gamecocks became the fifth team in Tennessee's last eight opponents to throw for more than 300 yards passing.

The 63 points allowed were also a season-high for a Volunteers defense that is middle of the pack in the SEC, allowing at least 24 points in four of its last five games.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

The transformation Clark Lea and Co. have done in Nashville in just two seasons is nothing short of remarkable as Vanderbilt is now on its first SEC winning streak since 2018. The victory over Kentucky two weeks ago ended a 26-game SEC losing streak.

While it's all good feels with the Commodores, they too have a bit of a quarterback quandary on their hands. The status of freshman AJ Swann, who hasn't played since Vanderbilt's last loss on Nov. 5, remains up in the air for Saturday.

He was listed as a co-starter on the team's depth chart earlier this week with Mike Wright. It's about a wash as a passer among the two teammates, but Wright is far more of a threat as a runner, accounting for over 500 more yards rushing than Swann this season.

Running back Ray Davis is the workhorse of this team. He's one of only three running backs in the SEC with more than 200 carries, albeit the least effective of the trio with only 4.65 yards per carry and five touchdowns.

Vanderbilt's passing defense is one of the few in the SEC that is just as poor as Tennessee's. The Commodores and Volunteers are the only defenses that allow more than 300 yards passing per game, with Vanderbilt surrendering 400 yards passing to Florida's Anthony Richardson last week.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Tennessee and Vanderbilt match up statistically:

Tennessee Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense
Rush Success1359
Line Yards1366
Pass Success5125
Pass Blocking**90128
Finishing Drives4103
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Vanderbilt Offense vs. Tennessee Defense
Rush Success9330
Line Yards10012
Pass Success7497
Pass Blocking**96108
Finishing Drives5255
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling53114
PFF Coverage107115
SP+ Special Teams25102
Seconds per Play20.9 (4)28.2 (102)
Rush Rate55.0% (61)55.7% (53)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Betting Pick

Can Vanderbilt keep the good mojo going, or is this the week it turns into a pumpkin?

Last week was an emotional disaster for Tennessee. It has to have some sort of effect on this game, as I expect the Vols to come out flat at the very least. Vanderbilt's secondary leaves a lot to be desired, but even with giving up 400 yards to Florida, Mike Wright and the offense was able to do enough for the win.

This is the Super Bowl for the Commodores. A win over Tennessee to reach bowl eligibility would be a program-defining moment for Clark Lea.

Can they actually pull off the outright win? Maybe not. But can they put up enough of a spirited fight to keep this within 14 points? I like their chances.

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