The Third Saturday in October is one of the great rivalries in all of college football, but with Tennessee falling on harder times in the last decade and Alabama's rise as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the sport, things have gotten pretty lopsided. With the top-ranked Crimson Tide favored by 29.5 points and the total at 57 in the latest Alabama vs. Tennessee odds, bookmakers are expecting more of the same when these teams meet at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS on Saturday. However, Tennessee is coming off a big road win over Auburn and hoping to send a message that the rivalry is on its way back. Before you make any Alabama vs. Tennessee picks, you'll want to see what college football guru Emory Hunt has to say about the matchup given his recent run of success picking Tennessee games.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former collegiate running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has put his stamp on college football.
His expertise has earned him the nickname "The Czar of the Playbook," and Hunt already has spent endless hours breaking down the rosters of FBS clubs. With this selection, he is looking to build on an incredible 5-1 mark on picks involving Tennessee. Anyone who has followed him is up big.
Of course, the Crimson Tide have turned themselves into the favorites to win yet another national title thanks to the deepest roster in the sport. The Crimson Tide managed to restock on defense and have the No. 7 scoring defense in all of college football and have their most efficient offense ever, averaging 8.4 yards per play for the season.
While it's the passing game that gets most of the attention as Tua Tagovailoa continues his relentless pursuit of the Heisman, it's the Crimson Tide rushing attack that sets everything up. The versatile attack features six players who have rushed for at least 100 yards and against a Tennessee defense that has allowed 4.9 yards per carry in SEC play and nine rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks, everybody should get their chance on Saturday.
However, this is still a rivalry game and the Vols come into Week 8 with a hot hand of their own after picking up a big SEC road victory against a ranked Auburn team.
Tennessee is coming off by far its best performance of the year and Jarrett Guarantano has proved that he's a legitimate SEC quarterback. Guarantano is the No. 4-rated passer in the conference, and the closest thing Alabama has to a weakness this season has been its pass defense. That group has surrendered 10 of the 13 touchdowns Alabama has given up all season, so if Guarantano can land a few big plays and get the Volunteers into the end zone, it's going to make 29.5 a big number to cover.
That'll be even more true if Alabama limits Tagovailoa in any way after he went out with a knee injury in Week 7 against Missouri. He's expected to get the start on Saturday, but any kind of concern could quickly lead to another opportunity for Jalen Hurts.
We can tell you Hunt is leaning toward the Over, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has identified the crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back.
Who covers Alabama vs. Tennessee? And which crucial x-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should jump on Saturday, all from a seasoned expert who is 5-1 on his recent picks involving Tennessee.