The Tennessee football season is under two months away with the Vols eying a breakout second season under head coach Josh Heupel.
College football writer Phil Steele was on the Tony Basilio Show Tuesday and gave his betting lines for Tennessee’s games this fall.
Steele is not an oddsmaker, but the longtime college football writer is known for his analytics based season preview magazine and employs many of the same tactics that oddsmakers do when making football betting lines.
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Here’s how Steele projected Tennessee football game lines this season.
Tennessee -31 vs. Ball State. Tennessee +4 at Pitt. Tennessee -32 vs. Akron. Tennessee -3 vs. Florida. Tennessee even at LSU. Tennessee +10 vs. Alabama. Tennessee -10 vs. Kentucky. Tennessee +10 at Georgia. Tennessee -17 vs. Missouri. Tennessee even at South Carolina. Tennessee -21 at Vanderbilt.
vs Ball St.: -31
at Pitt: +4
vs Akron: -32
vs Florida: -3
at LSU: Pick ‘em
vs Bama: +10
vs UTM: no line
vs Kentucky: -10
at UGA: +10
vs Mizzou: -17
at SC: Pick ‘em
at vAndy: -21
— Matt Dixon (@MattDixon3) July 5, 2022
While the games are two-to-five months away, Steele’s projected lines show just how far Tennessee has come in a Heupel’s short tenure.
Only two SEC games have lines greater than 10 points and the Vols are favorites in both of those games. Tennessee is just 10-point underdogs against Alabama and Georgia. The Vols haven’t played Alabama within 10 points since 2015 and Georgia within 10 points since 2016.
While a handful of lines are odd: Tennessee being four-point road dogs at Pitt but only 10-point road dogs at Georgia as well as the Vols being 10-point favorites against Kentucky, most make a lot of sense.
Steele’s lines also show how competitive Tennessee’s 2023 season will be, projecting four games to be decided by less than a touchdown.
If the favorite won each Tennessee game, the Vols would be 7-3-2. Obviously there are not ties in modern college football, meaning Tennessee is projected to go somewhere between 7-5 and 9-3.