This handicapper is amazed at Missouri's 9-0 SU and ATS run on the road. Can the Tigers extend those streaks, and get one step closer to a second straight SEC East Division title, with a win Saturday night at Rocky Top?
Tigers-Vols Betting Odds
Most college football odds boards we surfed opened this game with Tennessee favored by three points, the total proffered at 47. As of Friday morning most of those shops had bumped the Volunteers to -3.5, and the total to 49.
Also, those who think Missouri might win this game outright could get +160 on the moneyline at Jazz Sports.
Tigers-Vols: The Situation
After unexpectedly winning the SEC East last season, Missouri went off this season as a 33/1 shot to win the SEC, with a wins OVER/UNDER of 7.5. But at 8-2 SU (6-4 ATS) and 5-1 in SEC play the Tigers have already played OVER their total, and if they can win Saturday and beat Arkansas next week they'll pull off a very unlikely daily-double, winning the SEC East in back-to-back seasons.
Mizzou started 3-0 this season, but got upset at home by Indiana 31-27. The Tigers then pulled an upset of their own, a 21-20 victory at South Carolina, but followed that up by getting drilled by Georgia 34-0. Since then, though, Missouri has won four straight, beating Florida 42-13, Vandy 24-14, Kentucky 20-10 and, last week, Texas A&M 34-27.
The Tigers trailed at the half last week 13-6, then scored four touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 34-20 lead. Later, up one score with three minutes left, Mizzou stopped the Aggies on a fourth-and-goal-from-the-one to secure the victory. The Tigers outgained A&M 587-341, outrushed the Aggies 335-104 and held the ball for over 37 minutes, all in winning straight-up as three-point road dogs.
Tennessee, after going 5-7 each of the last three seasons, went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 5.5. So at 5-5 the Vols need one win in their last two games – against Mizzou and Vandy – to go OVER their total, and become bowl-eligible for the first time in four seasons.
Tennessee opened this season 2-0, but then lost three in a row, at Oklahoma 34-10, at Georgia 35-32 and to Florida 10-9. After a non-con win over Chattanooga the Vols then lost at Ole Miss 34-3 and at home to Alabama 34-20. But three weeks ago Tennessee won at South Carolina 45-42 in overtime, and last week beat Kentucky 50-16.
So in four games this season vs. common foes (Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky) the Tigers are 3-1 both SU and ATS, the Vols 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS.
Tigers-Vols Recent History
Since joining the SEC two seasons ago Missouri is 2-0 both SU and ATS against Tennessee. Two years ago the Tigers beat the Vols in Knoxville 51-48 in multiple overtime, and last year Mizzou won in Columbia 31-3.
Last year the Tigers outgained Tennessee 502-334, outrushed the Vols 339-94, won time-of-possession by a 34/26 margin and the turnover battle 3-0. Missouri QB Maty Mauk did most of the damage, running for 114 yards and throwing three touchdown passes.
Tigers-Vols Betting Trends
Missouri is 4-6 on the totals this season, as Tigers games have averaged 49 points.
Tennessee is also 4-5 on the totals, as Vols games have averaged 53 points.
Tennessee has suspended LB and leading tackler AJ Johnson; we won't go into the reason here. But his absence could certainly have an impact on this game. And the Vols are already without starting QB Justin Worley, who's gone for the season with a shoulder injury, and C. Mack Crowder is out with a bad ankle. Tennessee is a bit shorthanded at the moment.
Tigers-Vols Free Pick
Missouri owns an edge on defense, and in the running game. And the Vols, although they might play with some big emotion Saturday night, are missing some key people. So for this college football pick we like the Tigers, and they won't need the points.
Free College Football Pick: Missouri on the moneyline +160 at BetOnline