Although we are still months away from the start of the 2023 college football season, FanDuel Sportsbook has put out early point spreads for more than 30 games. The Tennessee Volunteers have three games available for early action, all against SEC rivals: Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.
Let’s take a peek at these early Vols betting odds and see what changes lie ahead for the Vols in 2023.
Tennessee Football Odds for the 2023 Season
Although these odds are only currently available at FanDuel Sportsbook, all of the other top online sports betting apps will follow suit well before the start of the season.
Sept. 16: Tennessee (-6.5) at Florida
The Vols snapped a five-game skid in this rivalry last year thanks to a 38-33 victory at Neyland Stadium.
Although both teams are losing their quarterbacks to the NFL Draft, Tennessee is in a much better position overall. Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz will take over for Florida’s Anthony Richardson and will require a different type of offensive scheme. Despite the inconsistencies with Richardson, he brought a dynamic element between his ability to run and push the ball downfield, both of which Mertz lacks.
The Vols should take care of business on the Third Saturday of September.
Oct. 21: Tennessee (+7) at Alabama
In one of the best games of the entire 2022 season, the Vols topped Alabama in an absolute thriller 52-49 in Knoxville.
While both teams are losing key players to the draft, it’s just another year for the Crimson Tide, who have been shuffling top-tier talent in and out of Tuscaloosa for more than a decade.
In the seventh game of the season for Tennessee, the Vols will need to be firing on all cylinders offensively if they want to have a chance of securing back-to-back victories against Alabama for the first time since 2003-2004.
Nov. 18: Georgia at Tennessee (+7.5)
If seeing this spread made you groan and have nightmare flashbacks, you’re not alone. Last year, Tennessee went into Athens with national title aspirations and came out with a whoopin’.
The Bulldogs will be losing major players across their defense with three potential first-round draft picks but plenty of talent remains. With quarterback Stetson Bennett out of the picture, the rest of Georgia’s quarterback room has combined for 61 collegiate pass attempts.
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2023 Tennessee Volunteers Team Preview
Here is a glance at what the Vols may look like on the gridiron this coming fall.
The biggest change for the Vols will be on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Hendon Hooker, wide receivers Jaylin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman, and offensive tackle Darnell Wright are headed to the NFL, while last year’s offensive coordinator Alex Golesh landed the head coaching gig at South Florida.
For a team that ranked first in points per game, passing yards per game, and total yards per game, it goes without saying that the Vols players stepping into those roles will determine how 2023 plays out.
At quarterback, former Michigan transfer Joe Milton III is the early favorite to start the season ahead of five-star freshman Nico Iamaleava. Milton had a strong Orange Bowl performance to close out last season, but Iamaleava was one of the top-ranked prospects in the entire 2023 class and is rated as the third-highest all-time recruit for the Vols.
At wide receiver, Bru McCoy, Squirrel White, and Ramel Keyton will return to Rocky Top while getting a transfer portal boost from Oregon in former four-star recruit Dont’e Thornton. Josh Heupel and staff also landed four-star wide receiver and top 75 overall prospect Nathan Leacock during this recruiting cycle. Beyond Leacock, athlete Cameron Seldon and tight end Ethan Davis are the only other two four-star offensive recruits who were added to the roster.
One position where there won’t be any turnover is at running back with Jabari Small and Jaylen Wright both back after combining for over 1,700 scrimmage yards.
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The Vols lost some defensive players to the transfer portal but the biggest hit comes as Byron Young heads to the NFL Draft. Young accounted for seven of Tennessee’s 31 sacks, and no other player had more than three.
Tennessee landed two key transfer portal additions in cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally and linebacker Keenan Pili, both from BYU.
On the recruiting trail, six of Tennessee’s 10 four-star recruits were defensive players. Two of the prospects were Caleb Herring and Arion Carter — the top two players in the state of Tennessee.
With the early questions surrounding how prolific Tennessee’s offense will be, the team could certainly benefit from an improving defense to alleviate some of the pressure.
Article contributed by Cody Kutzer/Photo via Tennessee Athletics