Butch Dill/Associated Press
Alabama owns an 11-game winning streak in the rivalry with Tennessee, going 8-3 against the spread along the way. The Crimson Tide are big favorites to run that streak to 12 straight when the Third Saturday in October rolls around this weekend in Knoxville.
College football point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 28.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report.)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 51.8-15.0 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game).
Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread
The defending national champs reached 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in SEC play with a 39-10 victory over Missouri last week. Alabama scored on an 81-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game, led 10-0 two minutes in, let the Tigers get within 13-10 then pulled away from there and covered as a 28-point favorite.
On the day, the Tide out-gained Missouri 564-212, held a 25-13 edge in first downs and won the turnover battle 3-1. So Alabama has now out-gained its first four SEC foes by an average of 246 yards per game, winning those contests by an average score of 53-18.
Two weeks ago, the Tide won at Arkansas 65-31, but they came up just short of covering a 35-point spread when they allowed a meaningless Razorbacks touchdown with 13 seconds left in the game. Still, Alabama is 8-5 ATS over its last 13 true road games.
Why the Tennessee Volunteers can cover the spread
The Volunteers just broke an 11-game SEC losing streak with a 30-24 upset at Auburn last week. Tennessee spotted the Tigers the first seven points of the game, and it trailed 17-10 late in the second quarter. But the Vols then used a 20-0 run spanning the halves to take a 30-17 lead and hung on from there for the much-needed outright victory as 15-point dogs.
On the afternoon Tennessee produced 398 yards of offense, converted on 10-of-19 third-down situations, held a 34/26 advantage in time of possession and won the turnover battle 3-1, creating a plus-14 point differential.
Smart betting pick
Alabama beat Tennessee last year 45-7 and 49-10 two seasons ago, and not all that much has changed yet for the Vols. Also, Tennessee is coming off a big effort last week and is probably ripe for a letdown this week. Finally, Nick Saban is 13-0 all-time against former assistants, and he doesn’t show mercy, winning those games by an average score of 38-12. The smart money here rides the Tide.
College football betting trends
Alabama is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games vs Tennessee.
The total has gone over in five of Alabama’s last six games vs Tennessee.
Tennessee is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games at home.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.