Opening college football lines are ever so slowly starting to leak from various sportsbooks in Las Vegas. Brett McMurphy tweeted these out yesterday, including Tennessee’s opener in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.
Openers via @LVSuperBook: Mich -4.5 UF; Bama -7.5 FSU; VT -4.5 WVU; UCLA -3.5 A&M; Tenn -3.5 GT; NCSt -5.5 SCar; LSU -14 BYU; Tex -16.5 Md— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 1, 2017
The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has the Vols favored by 3.5 points just two months away from the game being played. The game is being played in Atlanta, but it’s a neutral site game despite being played in Georgia Tech’s home city. It will be the second college football game played in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, after Alabama and Florida State play the previous Saturday.
3.5 points isn’t a lot of wiggle room, but I think that’s the right call from Vegas. Anytime you face the flexbone triple option attack, things get tricky. I know Tennessee has the entire offseason to prepare, but still. It’s just something that you don’t see every day.
I can remember Air Force coming into Neyland during Phillip Fulmer’s tenure and just about coming away with the upset. That offensive style is an equalizer. It’s why Navy competes for 10 wins year in and year out. It’s propelled the Yellow Jackets to four divisional titles since 2008 under Paul Johnson.
You would hope that Butch and the staff have the Vols prepped for anything — I’m sure they will. But there’s only so much you can do. The misdirection and smoke and mirrors style of it all is just nearly impossible to be ready for anything.
All that being said, I like Tennessee in a close one here. After all the hot seat talk this offseason, Butch has to have this one. Getting off to a good start before the beef of the schedule is an absolute must.
Georgia Tech returns eight men on both sides of the football, making them one of the more experienced teams in the nation. But they’ll be breaking in a new quarterback. Matthew Jordan has some experience, leading Georgia Tech to a win in relief over Virginia Tech last year. He only completed two passes that day, but ran for 121 yards.
Darrin Kirkland Jr. and Cortez McDowell are going to have their hands full. It’s a good thing that Tennessee has a full offseason to get healthy on the defensive interior — they’re going to need it in a big way.
What side do you lean on? Do you like Tennessee -3.5?