Saturday, October 24, 2020, Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. ET
Crimson Tide at Volunteers Betting Preview: Crimson Tide (-21), Volunteers (+21)
Alabama Crimson Tide
Coach Nick Saban is guarding against any letdown following Alabama’s impressive performance against Georgia last week as the No. 2 Crimson Tide (4-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) take on a Tennessee team that has fallen out of the Top 25.
“It’s really important that our players have humility,” Saban said. “This game means a lot to people in the state of Alabama, and I’m sure we’re going to get the best version of Tennessee’s team because it’s a rivalry game.”
It hasn’t been much of a rivalry since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, however. He has yet to lose to the Vols since taking over at Alabama in 2007.
With Mac Jones torching Georgia’s defense for 417 yards passing last week, running back Najee Harris rushing for 152 yards, and receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle amassing 162 and 161 receiving yards respectively, the Tide looks like an unstoppable machine.
Jones is completing passes at a 78 percent clip for the season. If there is any area of concern for the Tide it would be on a defense that has yielded over 458 yards and nearly 29 points a game. But then the Tide shut out Georgia in the second half last week.
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt says his Vols played better last week than the final score of the 34-7 loss to Kentucky might indicate.
“Offensively, we probably had more guys make our ‘War Daddy’ board this week, which we feel is like guys that play the right way,” Pruitt said. “We probably had more efficient plays than we had in any game this year, but it all goes back to turnovers.
“In the last six quarters, we’ve turned the ball over seven times. There’s no way you can beat anybody doing that.”
Quarterback Jarrett Guaratano threw a pair of early interceptions that Kentucky returned for touchdowns and also lost a fumble on Tennessee’s second series that helped the Wildcats to an early 17-0 lead. Guarantano is responsible for six of Tennessee’s last seven turnovers over the last six quarters.
Eric Gray and Ty Chandler have accounted for 536 of Tennessee’s 539 rushing yards.
Crimson Tide at Volunteers Betting Pick for October 24 , 2020
Saban is looking to extend two streaks: He is 13-0 against Tennessee during his stint at Alabama and is 22-0 against his former assistants after beating Georgia and Kirby Smart last week. Saban is 2-0 against Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt, who had three different stints in Tuscaloosa with the last as defensive coordinator in 2016-17. The Tide won the last meeting in Knoxville 58-21.
CrimsonTide at Volunteers Betting Pick:
Crimson Tide 49, Volunteers 17
Crimson Tide at Volunteers Best Bet for October 24, 2020
If the Vols can correct their quarterback issues, they should be able to score some points against the Tide defense. But their defense figures to have huge problems slowing the Tide’s offense. The two teams have two common foes with the Vols beating Missouri 35-12 and losing to Georgia 44-21 while the Tide coasted past Mizzou 38-19 and beat Georgia 41-24.
Crimson Tide at Volunteers Best Bet: OVER 64.5
–Field Level Media