The Tennessee Volunteers had a rough go of it last football season, but sportsbooks are betting the team’s first 2021-22 calendar game will offer a much needed fresh start.
The Vols are projected to launch into play with an easy win against Bowling Green on Thursday, Sept. 2.
A clean slate for the 2021 season
Tennessee suffered a rough season in 2020 with a 3-7 record. Only two other teams in the SEC East fared worse than the Vols last year. South Carolina held a 2-8 record, and Vanderbilt fell to 0-9.
Now, Tennessee is wiping the slate clean and starting anew.
This non-conference game will be played in front of a full crowd of screaming fans at Neyland Stadium, which is the perfect way to welcome new head coach Josh Heupel.
Neyland Stadium operated at 25% capacity during last season’s home games, but it will return to full capacity during the fall season according to new guidelines set forth by the university.
Vols are strong betting favorites against Bowling Green
Tennessee online sportsbooks favor the Vols to win by a spread of 33–33.5 points. This is low, considering Bowling Green gave away 45 points per game during the 2020 season and 41.8 in 2019.
Tennessee only averaged 21.5 points per game last season, while Bowling Green averaged 11.4 points per game.
The last time Tennessee faced Bowling Green was in 2015 at Neyland Stadium, where the Vols walked away with a 59-30 victory.
2021 Vols futures odds
While no sportsbook has posted odds for the team’s second and third matchups, BetMGM Tennessee already has lines on the fourth game against the Florida Gators. The sportsbook gives the Vols a 14.5-point disadvantage.
Nevertheless, sportsbooks are a tad more optimistic about this upcoming season compared to last year.
The Vols’ season win total sits at just over six games at -120. This puts them ahead of only South Carolina and Vanderbilt in the SEC East.
Odds of the Vols claiming victory over the SEC East are +3000.
The chance of an SEC Title Game win this year sits at +10000 odds, and claiming a first National Championship win since 1998 is the largest stretch at +25000 odds.
Bettors and fans can tune in for the first Heupel-era kickoff on the SEC Network beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 2.