College Football Picks: Tennessee vs. Oregon

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 3:05 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013 3:05 PM GMT

The Tennessee Volunteers have one of the best offensive lines in the nation, which could allow them to stay within the number against the Oregon Ducks Saturday.

The Tennessee Volunteers have one of the best offensive lines in the nation, which could allow them to stay within the number against the Oregon Ducks Saturday.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football betting odds for this non-conference matchup at Autzen Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Forcing turnovers

Tennessee has gotten off to a 2-0 start this season due to being tied for first nationally in forcing nine turnovers—a statistical category that played a huge part in its 52-20 win over Western Kentucky as 14-point home favorites last Saturday.

College football handicappers should expect the Volunteers to continue ranking near the top in the country in this category, as first-year head coach Butch Jones has watched his teams force opponents into giving up the ball 70 times since 2011.

Simply dominant

Oregon is the most explosive team in college football. They are is averaging 62.5 points and 664.5 yards per game, while ranking last in the country in time of possession.

The Ducks have won 21 consecutive home games against unranked foes—winning by an average of 34 points in that situation.

Grind it out

There’s no doubt that the Volunteers will hold the ball longer than the Ducks in this affair, which could allow them to stay within the number, especially with one of the country’s best offensive lines.

Tennessee’s offensive line has 128 career starts, as it prepares to go against a Oregon front that may wear down over the course of the game, with game-time temperatures expected to be in the high 80s.  

Mariota is special

Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota has thrown for 433 yards and ran for another 235 through two games, while accounting for six total touchdowns and not throwing an interception.

Of Oregon’s 17 touchdown drives in the first two games—15 have last less than two minutes.  

Both Mariota and superstar running back De’Anthony Thomas have eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in the first two contests.

[gameodds]6/239005/?r-1=43-19-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Volunteers to cover the large spread for their college football picks, as Jones has compiled a perfect 3-0 ATS record as an underdog in games with a betting total of 68 or higher, while the Ducks are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games with a number of 70 or more.

College Football Pick: Tennessee Volunteers +28 at Bet 365

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