Alabama has made a habit of covering the spread against their SEC rivals from Tennessee, but they lay almost three touchdowns on the point spread Saturday.
The Crimson Tide, the No. 1 team in the BCS standings, is 6-1-1 ATS in eight recent games against the Volunteers and all but one sportsbook tracked by OddsShark.com had them as 20-point road favorites Friday morning. (One had them at minus-20.5).
They continue their quest for back-to-back national championships when they head to Knoxville (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Can the Tide continue their roll towards Miami and the BCS title game while making it a 6-0 ATS run at Tennessee? Do the Vols have a shot at a shocker?
Alabama, led by its top-ranked defense, is off to a 6-0 start this season. The Tide opened by beating Michigan 41-14, then eased past Western Kentucky 35-0 and then opened SEC play with a 52-0 whipping of Arkansas.
Bama then stepped out of conference to beat Florida Atlantic 40-7 and subsequently stepped back in and beat Ole Miss 33-14.
Last week, the Tide went up to Columbia and beat Missouri 42-10, holding the Tigers to only 129 yards of offense.
About the only thing on the "con" side of the argument for Alabama is the injuries that have depleted the offensive backfield.
Meanwhile, Tennessee opened this season with a solid 35-21 victory over North Carolina State, then beat Georgia State (FCS) 51-13. The Vols then began SEC play by allowing a 20-13 third-quarter lead to slip away in a 37-20 loss to Florida.
Tennessee then beat Akron out of the MAC 47-26, but has since lost conference games at Georgia and at Mississippi State, allowing a total of 92 points in those two games.
The Vols are averaging 482 yards per game on offense this season but are allowing 430 YPG on defense.
So Alabama, at 3-0 in conference play, is tied for first place in the SEC West with Mississippi State, while Tennessee, at 0-3, is a half-game out of last place in the East, four games already behind 5-0 Florida.
Alabama has won the last five games in this series by an average score of 32-10. Last year, the Tide beat the Vols 37-6 in Tuscaloosa, covering as 29-point favorites, although that game was only 6-6 at the half.
The over/unders are 5-0 in Tennessee games this season.
Free Pick: Alabama might be a little banged up in spots, but as long as the line on this game remains under three touchdowns, we like the Tide. In 2011, road teams favored by 20 or more points covered the spread nearly 70 percent of the time. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
ll odds, stats and trends mentioned courtesy of OddShark.com. Mike Pickett is a Contributor to Bleacher Report.
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