Last Updated on September 22, 2020

There’s nothing like SEC football on a Saturday afternoon. The best conference in college football will kick off its 2020 season this Saturday and Tennessee vs. South Carolina is one of the big games on the schedule this weekend.

The Volunteers enter the weekend ranked 16th in the country with +15000 odds to win the national title. Despite their top-25 ranking, they are going to face a murderer’s row of SEC opponents this year. They currently have the seventh-best odds to win the SEC


Tennessee – South Carolina Betting Odds

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Tennessee and South Carolina are starting off the season with a game that could go either way. Tennessee is favored by 3.5 points despite being the road team. The Volunteers are -167 on the moneyline which implies that they have a 62.5% chance of winning on Saturday.

The over-under varies depending on the sportsbook you look at, but you can get it as low as 42.5 or as high as 46. This opens up the opportunity to middle by betting the under on the high number and the over on the low number. At worst, one of these bets will hit and you will lose the vig. At best, you’ll hit both and clean up.



Tennessee – South Carolina Preview & Betting Angles

What should we expect from Tennessee vs. South Carolina this weekend? Truthfully, it’s always tough to predict the first game of the season. Sure, Tennessee is ranked No. 16 in the country and a lot of people expect them to hold their own in the SEC this season, but preseason rankings are often way off.

Jeremy Pruitt is entering his third season as head coach of the Vols and he’s made year-over-year improvements in both of his seasons so far. Tennessee finished last season with an 8-5 record (5-3 SEC) and a win over Indiana in the Gator Bowl.

South Carolina has the benefit of playing on their home field. However, they will have a limited capacity crowd due to the social distancing guidelines in place for games this year. It’s a make-or-break year for Will Muschamp who has two winning and two losing seasons under his belt as head coach of the Gamecocks.

If either team wants any chance of making a run at the SEC championship this year, this is a must-win game. With only 10 games on the schedule and tough matchups seemingly every week, this game could prove to be crucial later in the year.

UT is the better team up and down the roster, but the game isn’t played on paper. Although things are trending up for the Volunteers, the 2020 season could be off to a rough start if Pruitt’s squad loses their season opener for the third consecutive year.



Historical Matchup Stats

Tennessee has the better record all-time in this matchup, but recent history has been much more of a power struggle between the two teams. Tennessee is 26-10-2 against South Carolina overall and won last year’s matchup by a score of 41-21, but South Carolina won three consecutive one-score games before that.

With the spread set to 3.5, we can expect another close game in Williams-Brice Stadium this Saturday.


How To Watch Tennessee – South Carolina

Tennessee – South Carolina is going to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network. Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, and Alyssa Lang will get the call for the first primetime game on the network’s first SEC Saturday Night game of the season.


Betting Picks & Score Prediction

Tennessee has talent coming back and they brought in a solid recruiting class this offseason so they seem to be the pick, but their early-season struggles under Jeremy Pruitt are enough to scare me away from taking them to cover the points here. Taking the moneyline seems to be the safer play, but even then, betting on the Vols is a risky move. Not to mention, you need to lay down a little extra cash with Tennessee at -167 on the moneyline.

With all that said, go with the under at the best possible number. Right now, BetMGM has it at 46 which feels high enough to feel confident in the under. And as I wrote earlier, if you really are looking to take a risk, bet the over on PointsBet at 42.5 and try to hit the middle. Go big or go home for the first week of SEC football.


Final score prediction: Tennessee wins 24-21