KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Vegas oddsmakers believe Tennessee is primed for a special season.
Last month, multiple sportsbooks pegged the Volunteers to win 10 games in the regular season — the highest over/under win total in the SEC, and a feat UT hasn’t accomplished since 2004.
On Friday, the Golden Nugget casino further displayed its faith in Tennessee, listing the Volunteers as favorites over reigning national champion Alabama, SEC East champ Florida and Texas A&M in its early betting lines for “Games of the Year.”
The Vols haven’t beaten the Crimson Tide since 2006, but Tennessee opened as a 1-point favorite to win the classic showdown on the third Saturday in October. The casino also strongly believes Tennessee will snap its historic 11-game losing streak to Florida, listing the Vols as a whopping 11-point favorite against their division rival.
The Volunteers are also nearly a two-touchdown favorite versus Virginia Tech in the Battle of Bristol and a 5-point favorite on the road against Texas A&M. Although Tennessee’s entire schedule wasn’t listed, the Vols likely will be heavy favorites in their remaining conference games (at South Carolina, vs. Kentucky, vs. Missouri and at Vanderbilt), too.
The Volunteers won six straight games to end the 2015 campaign and return a loaded roster, touting depth (18 returning starters) and star power (quarterback Josh Dobbs, tailback Jalen Hurd, defensive end Derek Barnett and cornerback Cameron Sutton).
Tennessee joined powerhouse programs Clemson, Florida State and Oklahoma as the only teams in the country with an over/under of 10 wins, per the Golden Nugget.
Tennessee (-13) vs. Virginia Tech (Battle at Bristol)
Florida at Tennessee (-11)
Tennessee at Georgia (pick ‘em)
Tennessee (-5) at Texas A&M
Alabama at Tennessee (-1)