A noontime SEC showdown is in the spotlight as No. 8 Tennessee meets No. 25 LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. LSU Tigers
Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Tiger Stadium
Tennessee had last week off, but in their last outing they were looking to remain undefeated when they welcomed Florida to Knoxville, and they didn’t disappoint their fans as they walked away with a 38-33 victory.
However, such wasn’t the case for those who bet on the Vols as they watched a 17-point lead disappear with under five minutes remaining as the Gators rallied for 12 unanswered points and covered the 11 ½ point spread.
Senior quarterback, Hendon Hooker, enjoyed a stellar performance, connecting on 22-of-28 for 349 yards and two passing touchdowns as well as 112 rushing yards, including a four-yard scamper into the end zone.
The Volunteers are now 4-0 to open the season for the first time since 2016 and the rabid crowd of over 100,000 people at Neyland Stadium was euphoric when senior cornerback Kamal Hadden intercepted a Hail Mary pass into the Tennessee end zone to secure the victory.
After the game, Josh Heupel was asked about his quarterback’s scintillating performance, the second-year Tennessee head coach said, “[Hooker] was electric all night long."
"Unbelievable job throwing the football. He used his feet opportunistically and everyone fed off his energy on the offensive side of the ball. Hell of an effort by him tonight,” Heupel added.
The LSU Tigers took on the Auburn Tigers in hostile territory last week in a battle of SEC rivals that the road favorites in top-rated sportsbooks won, 21-17, but failed to cover the eight-point impost. LSU had to rally for their fourth consecutive come-from-behind victory after being down 17-0 midway through the second quarter.
The momentum sharply shifted after Jay Ward scooped a 23-yard fumble return into the end zone followed by two LSU rushing touchdowns. LSU’s defense stiffened and didn’t allow another Auburn point the rest of the way.
Quarterback Jayden Daniels tallied only 80 passing yards, but he was responsible for one of the two LSU rushing touchdowns.
Although the passing game was quiet, the Tigers got the job done on the ground led by junior running back, Josh Williams, who accounted for 68 of LSU’s 185 rushing yards.
Tennessee vs. LSU: Pick and Prediction
LSU has demonstrated resilience if nothing else in rallying from behind to notch their last four wins. But putting yourself behind the eight-ball is not a recipe for success and they will find that out on Saturday as they face their sternest test to date in their meeting with Tennessee.
The Volunteers own a prolific offense this season as evidenced by their 48.3 points per game average which places them third in the nation.
Tennessee’s quarterback, Hendon Hooker, has been immaculate with eight passing touchdowns for 1193 passing yards, no picks, and a 71.7 percent passing rate, as well as three rushing touchdowns.
Before we write off the Tigers, we should acknowledge they have a decent defense, ranked 15th in the nation allowing 14.8 points per game, and hold their opponents to a respectable 183.8 passing yards (25th).
Even though Tennessee’s passing defense is near the bottom at 128th allowing 309.3 passing yards per game, LSU is not equipped to exploit that weakness as they lean heavily on their ground attack, which is something the Vols do well at containing, ranked 21st in the nation and surrendering just 98 yards per contest.
I don’t see the Tigers being able to keep this one within the margins, even though they will enjoy the home-field advantage.
We should also note that Tennessee has many wrongs to right in this matchup, having lost to LSU over their last five meetings, despite the most recent being in 2017.
I’m not sure how long we will see Tennessee laying only a field goal here but my advice is to act and not wait because it feels to me this line is heading north as game time approaches.
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in October.
- Tigers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Volunteers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Volunteers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
One final note, let’s not dismiss the extra week of prep time that Tennessee has had which makes them even more appealing as a three-point road favorite.
As of this Monday morning writing, I see that all of the best online sportsbooks are dealing Tennessee as three-point road chalk with the only slight break on the vig found over at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review).
So, let’s lay it and cash it with the Vols.
Score Prediction: Tennessee 37 - LSU 27
NCAAF Pick: Tennessee -3 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.