Sportsbooks Have Tennessee Volunteers As Favorites To Win Season Opener

Posted on August 25, 2020

The latest Tennessee football odds have the Volunteers giving the Gamecocks a rocky start to their season. After the latest SEC schedule release had South Carolina and Tennessee open as a “pick ’em,” the action has moved in the latter’s favor.

Some legal sportsbooks have been hesitant to post markets on individual college football games at this point. A few do have a small amount of action available, however, and favor the Vols to win their first game of the season.

Tennessee football odds at legal sportsbooks

While legal sportsbooks won’t be up and running in the Volunteer State in time for this game, sportsbooks in other parts of the country have weighed in on this contest. It’s good news for Tennessee fans.

With just over a month until the game is scheduled to be played, the Volunteers are either a 2.5 or 3-point favorite at legal sportsbooks. Those books which offer spreads on the game right now are:

  • BetRivers/Sugarhouse
  • FOX Bet
  • PointsBet

BetRivers and FOX Bet also have moneylines on the game. The odds on Tennessee to win are -139 at BetRivers and -150 at FOX Bet.

Other online sportsbooks, like BetMGM and DraftKings, don’t have lines on individual regular-season college football games right now. As the calendar turns closer to these dates, that may change.

While it may seem that those sportsbooks are sacrificing revenue by not posting markets for these games, it’s hard to blame them for taking a more conservative approach. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season due to COVID-19.

While some conferences have decided to postpone their seasons, the SEC plans to move forward with its revised schedule.

The SEC hopes to start its season on Sept. 26, and there are some trends between these two teams that bettors should be aware of while wagering.

Things to know about South Carolina vs. Tennessee football

Tennessee leads the all-time series 26-10-2 and won last year’s game 41-21 in Knoxville. The Volunteers last played at South Carolina in 2018, when they lost 27-24.

Tennessee has lost four of its last five games in Columbia, SC, averaging 29.8 points per game in those five contests. The Gamecocks have averaged 33.8 points per game in their last five contests at home against the Volunteers.

The average margin of victory in the past five South Carolina vs. Tennessee games in Columbia has been 5.2 points. The last four such games have all been decided by three points.

South Carolina’s head coach has had the Volunteers’ number in his career. Before last year’s game, no Muschamp-coached team had ever lost to Tennessee in seven attempts.

The Volunteers come into this game looking like the superior team, however. Tennessee ended 2019 on a six-game winning streak, then landed a top-10 recruiting class in the offseason.

On the other hand, the Gamecocks lost five of their last six games last season and have a new offensive coordinator. For all those reasons, Tennessee is a road favorite despite its recent struggles against this coach and in this venue.

If the Volunteers are to contend for a spot in the SEC championship game this year, they need to win games like this. Right now, sportsbooks expect them to do so.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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