KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Team 121 is back into the mode of re-loading, and the Las Vegas line for the Vols’ games with Alabama and Florida certainly reflects as much.
The Golden Nugget sports book has installed the Crimson Tide as a 24.5-point favorite over Tennessee in the teams’ Oct. 21 game in Tuscaloosa.
The Gators are a 9.5-point favorite over the Vols in the Sept. 16 game scheduled to be played in The Swamp in Gainesville.
Tennessee has already gotten a taste that few prognosticators are believers in the program this season. The Vols don’t have any position players on Athlon Sports preseason first or second team offense or defense.
The magazine, however, projects UT to finish No. 19 at the end of the 2018 season. This, despite the Vols’ losing 3-year starter and Athlon Offensive Player of the Year Josh Dobbs and NFL first-round pick Derek Barnett among the 6 UT players that were drafted.
Tennessee is a 1-point favorite over Georgia, an SEC East rival it has beat the past two years, when the teams meet on Sept. 30 in Neyland Stadium.
The Vols are also a favorite over Georgia Tech in both teams’ season opener on Sept. 4.
LSU, another SEC West Division opponent for the Vols this season, is a 7.5-point favorite over the Vols in the Nov. 18 game at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee went 6-6 against the spread last season after being favored in 13 games, despite injuries that led to 17 of 22 starters missing games.
The Vols have finished in the Top 25 each of the past two seasons, the first time that has happened for Tennessee in 10 years.