Tennessee vs Alabama Picks and Predictions: Crimson Tide Revenge Tour Rolls On

Alabama will continue its vengeance tour on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, as it lets out anger from the loss in College Station. Tennessee is the next poor team in line, but can the Vols sneak a cover against the Tide? Find out with our college football picks.

Last Updated: Oct 23, 2021 4:01 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Bryce Young Alabama Crimson Tide college football
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The Volunteers' season has largely been turned around since they went to Hendon Hooker under center, but it won't be easy to move on from last weekend's loss with a trip to Tuscaloosa on deck. 

Tennessee is expected to have Hooker at QB, despite a leg injury suffered last week, but Hooker and the Vols will be hard-pressed to slow down an angry Alabama team. The Tide are looking to crush every team in their path, and that now means the Vols. 

Here are our free college football picks and predictions for Tennessee at Alabama on October 23, with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. ET.

Tennessee vs Alabama odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Hooker’s injury looked bad enough late Saturday night to immediately cast doubt on his chances of playing this week, and thus, this line opened with the Tide favored by 27.5 points on Sunday. It remained at -27.5 until Monday, when Volunteers head coach Josh Heupel offered optimism about Hooker’s chances to play, at which point this margin quickly and methodically fell to -24.5 or -25.0, depending on your book. The total opened at 66.5 points and moved up to 68.0 by week’s end, but that move did not come with the same timing as the spread movement, suggesting it is encouraged by sentiments separate from Hooker’s improved status.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

Tennessee vs Alabama picks

Picks made on 10/22/2021 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Tennessee vs Alabama game info

Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Tennessee vs Alabama betting preview

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

Tennessee: Hendon Hooker QB (Probable), Cade Mays OL (Questionable), Kingston Harris OL (Questionable), Cooper Mays OL (Questionable), Jaylen Wright RB (Questionable), Tiyon Evans RB (Questionable), Juwan Mitchell LB (Out).
Alabama: Drew Sanders LB (Doubtful), Jase McClellan RB (Out).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Alabama has won 14 straight in this annual matchup and gone 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings. Find more NCAA betting trends for Tennessee vs. Alabama.

Tennessee vs Alabama predictions

Alabama usually draws an influx of public money, so there is little incentive to hold off on this number in hopes it falls to -24.0 on Saturday. If anything, it is more likely to tick back up to -25.0. While that may not be a traditional key number, no kicker should be trusted, and that half-point may become crucial.

If Hooker were 100 percent healthy with absolutely no concerns, this handicap may go the other direction, in that case entirely banking on a backdoor cover. When Tennessee switched to Hooker from Joe Milton, its offense took off and the chances of covering any number increased along with it.

But with Hooker banged up, Heupel may see merit to pulling him late in a rout, and the spread here makes it clear a rout should be expected. If the conclusion to Mississippi-Tennessee taught us anything aside from the many functions of a mustard bottle (mustard dispenser, metal detector-proof flask, projectile), it reaffirmed Milton cannot be trusted to produce. If he was willing to duck out of bounds as the clock expired when the game could still conceivably be won, he probably should not be counted on for a backdoor cover against a Nick Saban-coached secondary.

Paradoxically, this Over is a testament to Hooker. Pulling him late in a rout does not mean Hooker will not have a chance to put up some points before the final frame, particularly considering Tennessee has been operating at Heupel’s preferred tempo with Hooker at the helm.

Since turning the offense over to Hooker, the Volunteers are averaging north of 40 points per game. They will assuredly not reach those heights against an Alabama defense giving up 20.1 points per game, but they will score some. Clearly, this is not a vintage Tide defense if it is giving up nearly three touchdowns each week.

Three Tennessee touchdowns would be enough to set up the Over while Alabama covers, and sometimes threading that needle is what makes these endeavors so enjoyable.

College football parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Tennessee vs. Alabama picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college football parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on college football odds?

You can bet on college football odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NCAA moneylines, spreads, Over/Under totals, and a ton of college football prop odds. Head over to our best football betting sites for the top spots to bet on college football odds in your area.

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