Tennessee is still two and a half months away from opening up the 2022 football season against Ball State at Neyland Stadium.
However, it’s never too early to start taking a look at the Vols’ schedule and how Las Vegas handicappers view Tennessee matchups this fall.
South Point Casino released early lines for a number of college football games earlier this week including three Tennessee games this fall. The casino released lines for Tennessee’s road trip to Pittsburgh and rivalry matchups against Alabama and Georgia.
The Vols are two-point favorites at Pitt in early September after falling to the Panthers inside Neyland Stadium a season ago.
The narrow loss proved to be quarterback Hendon Hooker’s coming out party. Hooker and the Vols are looking to get revenge in the return matchup of the “Johnny Majors Classic” against a Pitt team that lost star quarterback Kenny Pickett and receiver Jordan Addison.
The biggest surprise of the early lines is that Alabama opened as just 6.5-point favorites over Tennessee. The Vols haven’t won “The Third Saturday in October” since 2006 and have played Alabama within 6.5 points just twice during the 15 year losing streak.
According to SEC Mike on Twitter, that line quickly moved towards the Crimson Tide and Alabama is now 10.5-point favorites on the site.
Tennessee is 12-point underdogs against the defending national champions Georgia. The Vols travel to Athens for a mid November matchup, looking for their first win over the Bulldogs since 2016.
The Vols pushed Georgia early in Josh Heupel’s first season, but the Bulldogs talent and defense wore on Tennessee as the SEC East champs pulled away late, coasting to a 41-17 win.
There’s more excitement and optimism around Tennessee football then there’s been in the last five seasons entering Heupel’s second year in Knoxville. The Vols return starting quarterback Hendon Hooker and an abundance of core pieces from their 2021 resurgent offense.