Vols vs. Sooners College Football Picks: How to Bet This Short Spread

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, September 10, 2015 1:56 PM GMT

Oklahoma travels to Tennessee for this Big 12 vs. SEC inter-sectional, as televised at 6:00 ET on ESPN. Get our free college football picks for this matchup and more here.

Oklahoma (-2) at Tennessee 6:00 ET ESPN

Oklahoma travels to Tennessee for this Big 12 vs. SEC inter-sectional, as televised at 6:00 ET on ESPN. While the College Football odds suggest a tight matchup, we are expecting this to be a bit easier to predict than the sportsbooks would have you think. Read on to find out where we have decided to place our College Football picks in this battle.

 

Head to Head
Last week, the Sooners got the bad taste out of their mouths from the 0-2 SU ATS finish of 2014, which included a 38-35 loss to rival Oklahoma St. as 20 point home favorite and a 40-6 annihilation by Clemson in their Bowl game.  Unveiling a TTRR like Air Raid offense, the Sooners passed for 439 yards in a 41-3 win and cover against the outmanned Akron secondary.  At first glance, it would appear Tennessee would be in trouble, as they allowed 433 passing yards to Bowling Green last week.  But, as history has shown us, it is far better to rely on a running game.  Last week, the Vols outrushed Bowling Green 399-124, while the weak Akron ground attack, actually outrushed the Sooners 138-100.  

Building on their 59-30 opening week victory over Bowling Green in Nashville, the Vols avoided the look ahead to this game by outscoring the Falcons 10-0 in the 4th quarter.  It gives them great momentum, as they play their opening game at Neyland Stadium (last week’s game was in Nashville) with meaningful revenge from last year’s 34-10 loss to Oklahoma last year.  In that contest, played in Norman on September 13th of last season, Tennessee was breaking in both a virgin offensive and defensive line, neither of whom returned a single starter.  Meanwhile, the Sooners had 16 returning starters and were on their way to a 4-0 SU September.  Oklahoma totally dominated the proceedings, outrushing and out passing Tennessee for a combined 454 to 313 yardage edge.  It is also a strong endorsement that the Vols are a QUALIFIED RETURNING STARTER PLAY with 6 more returning starters than Oklahoma, following a 7-6 SU winning season of last, while returning both their HC and starting signal caller.  

As outlined above, this time it is the Vols who are the more experienced team, as well as a team on the rise under 3rdyear HC Butch Jones.  Jones has patiently built this program from the bottom up, after the Vols reached the nadir of their discontent in 4 years under Lane Kiffin (1) and Derek Dooley (3).  Slowly, the pieces are being put into place for a return to excellence by the Tennessee program.  In this, his 3rd year, Jones at last has the veteran pieces in place, which are largely his own recruits.  Note Jones’ excellence for his work at home, wherever he has been with a 35-15 SU (70%) record.  This is a HUGE game for Tennessee, as it will be a marker that the Vols at last have beaten a quality program and are on their way to a return to respectability in the eyes of the CFB world.

Free College Football Pick: Take Tennessee +1 at BetOnline