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Why Tennessee will win 11 games in the regular season

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With another win under its belt, Tennessee continues to shock its fans and the college football world with a realistic run at the College Football Playoffs.

Let’s remember that the Vols were predicted to win seven or eight games by most oddsmakers before the season. Now, the Vols could rack up 10, 11 or even more regular season wins. Based on predicted point spreads, they likely will. 

The Vols are currently 7-0 and have all but one of their toughest rivals beat and in the dust. Georgia still looms large on the Vols schedule, but other than the Bulldogs there isn’t much left to fret about – if you base your game outcomes on point spreads, per gambling analyst Tyler Wyatt of BetSmartUS, which had the Vols as a 41 1/2-point favorite while most sports books had the Vols as a 36 to 38-point favorite. The Vols won by 41 points in a 65-24 rout.

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Using the BetSmartUS model, here is a look at the remainder of Tennessee’s season.

Kentucky

Let’s start with Kentucky this week. The Vols are a 12-point favorite according to the BetSmartUS model over the Wildcats when they host the Cats from the Commonwealth in Neyland Stadium on Saturday. Vegas thinks that’s a fairly easy win. 

It’s worth noting that Kentucky had a bye week to prepare for the Vols and the Cats will be one of the toughest defensive challenges remaining on the Vols’ schedule, but Tennessee will prevail based on what the oddsmakers think. Then, things get interesting.

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Dave Hooker and Caleb Calhoun break down the Vols’ win over UT-Martin and look forward to Kentucky.

Georgia

Of course, things could change after this weekend, but if all remains status quo, the Vols will likely be a 10-point underdog when they play at Athens on Nov. 5. The Vols could still lose that game and be in the College Football Playoff hunt. They might have to do just that as beating the Bulldogs in Samford Stadium would still be considered a significant upset. Vegas thinks the Vols will have to overcome a loss between the hedges to advance to the playoffs.

Missouri

It’s hard to imagine the Vols losing to Missouri, which is 3-4 and 1-3 in the SEC. However, it is a road game so the point spread should be approximately 20 points in favor of the Vols, based on early indicators. Missouri struggled to beat Vanderbilt 17-14 on Saturday.

South Carolina

The Gamecocks beat Texas A&M on Saturday to move to 5-2 and 2-2 in the SEC. They’ll host Tennessee on Nov. 19 and are predicted to be a 12-point underdog. Again, the Vols should win and, based on point spreads, will have no more than one loss heading into the regular season finale against Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt

Vandy is celebrating its 100th season in Vanderbilt Stadium much like they’ve played in most of the previous 99 seasons. Vanderbilt is 3-5 and 0-4 in the SEC. The Vols are projected to be a approximately a 24-point favorite when they take on the Commodores in Nashville on Nov. 26.

Could the Vols stumble along the way and end up with two regular season losses? Certainly. However, as things stand now, Tennessee looks like a team that will win 11 games in the regular season. Vegas certainly didn’t predict that before the season.

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