The Tennessee Volunteers didn’t beat the college football odds last week, but what about Saturday’s game against the Missouri Tigers?
Missouri Tigers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Neyland Stadium
That’s the problem with these underdog-Under parlays: you need to nail both sides to cash in at the best sportsbooks. Last week’s big SEC game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Georgia Bulldogs didn’t quite go according to plan. The Under got there, but the Volunteers (+9.5 away) had very little to offer in their 27-13 loss.
Even if that wasn’t the result we were looking for, it makes the Volunteers an even better college football pick for this Saturday’s matchup with the Missouri Tigers. The Vols are available as 21-point home faves at most outlets as we go to press, including Bovada (visit our Bovada Review), where they’ve got the vig set at -105. More on that later.
There’s also a 56.5-point total on the NCAAF odds board at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), with their standard -108 juice attached. Since the Bulldogs aren’t involved, we’re recommending the Over this time, but only for a fun-sized bet. The spread should be worth the standard single unit at this price. Let’s riggidy-roll.
What Happened to Tennessee?
They ran into a better team. The Volunteers (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) may have been No. 1 on the first College Football Playoff rankings, but they were No. 5 on the F+ ratings at Football Outsiders heading into Saturday’s contest, 3 spots behind Georgia.
We thought Tennessee still had some betting value as big underdogs, and they did, but the defending champions proved to be too much for them. At least our Week 10 NCAAF props made a profit when the best defense in college held Vols QB Hendon Hooker to zero touchdown passes (Under 1.5).
Is There Any Hope for Missouri?
There’s always hope. But the Tigers (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS) still have a way to go before they’re challenging the big boys in the SEC. Now, in their 3rd year under head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri was No. 47 overall (No. 83 offense, No. 17 defense) on the F+ charts before their 21-17 loss to Kentucky (+1 away).
This program is definitely trending upward, though. Drinkwitz received a contract extension over the weekend, along with defensive coordinator Blake Baker. Under their guidance, Missouri is playing its best football since its last winning season in 2018, when they went 8-5 under Barry Odom and made it to the Liberty Bowl.
Why Are You Ditching the Underdog-Under Parlay?
I know, it doesn’t seem right given Missouri’s defense-heavy profile and their 8-1 Under record. However, the models are telling us to flip the script this week, although there isn’t a lot of betting value to be had on either side of the traditional favorite Over combo.
The Volunteers (Over 5-4) are another animal. They still have one of the top offenses in the nation and Hooker (+250) is still the 2nd favorite at Bovada to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy, behind Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (+200).
Hooker’s odds could shorten considerably in Week 11. The Tigers may have a stout defense, but they’re not Georgia.
Missouri’s defense is closer to that of those “other” Tigers from LSU (No. 18 in F+), and Tennessee dropped 40 points on them back in Week 6 at Death Valley, no less, with Hooker throwing an efficient 2 TD passes and 0 picks.
Why Does That -105 Vig Matter Again?
Ah, good memory, kudos for paying attention. Obviously, it’s always better to pay -105 juice instead of the standard -110. It may not seem like much to casual fans, but those 5 cents can easily be the difference between a winning and losing bettor over time.
It’s even more relevant to this particular matchup because Tennessee is favored by exactly 21 points, which is a somewhat magic number in college football. Ideally, we’d rather have the Vols at -20.5, and that price is available at some locations on our Week 11 NCAAF lines, but you’ll have to pay up to -115 vig to “buy” that half-point.
We definitely wouldn’t recommend paying -115 for that privilege. According to Wizard of Odds, the only spreads worth paying 10 cents in vig to move away from are 3, 7, 14, and 10, in that order.
Would we pay 5 cents to drop from -21 to -20.5? Well, now we’re getting pretty close to splitting hairs. It may or may not be worth the full 5 cents in a vacuum, but you might find it’s still worth it to lower your variance a bit by turning a small handful of pushes into ATS victories. Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.