As outlined here, Tennessee opened up as 14 point favorites over in-state rival, Vanderbilt. Action on that line has moved it slightly upward, as is often the case. When more seasoned bettors place bets at the beginning of the week, the oddsmakers are given an opportunity to hammer out a line more conducive to their success.
According to Action Network, 83 percent of the bet money is on Tennessee; that number encompasses both moneyline and spread. At the moment, DraftKings Sportsbook has Tennessee at -15.5. Before the line opened, I had opined that it would likely open at either -13.5 or -15.5. Ultimately, it’s settling on the latter number.
While Vanderbilt hasn’t done enough for bettors to expect an upset on the moneyline at +510, they might well fall within the +15.5 that would be required for Vandy bettors to win. That’s largely contingent, however, on Tennessee. For the most part, Vanderbilt has been pretty stable this season — although bad — at 0-8 on the season.
At this point, however, the safer option might be the over/under. DraftKings has it as 50.5. I’d be willing to take the over. While Tennessee hasn’t shown a tremendous ability to score points recently, they haven’t faced a passing defense as bad as Vandy’s, which ranks 126th in passing rating, according to CFB Stats. With Harrison Bailey and JT Shrout now taking the snaps for the Vols, the passing should, presumably, heat up a little bit more, particularly after what we saw against Florida.
Meanwhile, Tennessee is 106th in defensive passing rating, making for two defenses that have struggled to stop the pass. Vandy is 78th in offensive passing rating, while Tennessee clocks in at 89th. While this won’t be a high scoring game, expect both teams to put points on the board, particularly with a team like Tennessee, who can’t quite figure out the recipe for winning a game.
Moneyline: Tennessee (-770)
Spread: Vanderbilt +15.5 (-110)
Over/Under: Over 50.5