Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1015 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Kentucky +11½ @ Tennessee
Neyland Stadium - Knoxville, TN
7:00 PM EST. Where do we begin with this one? There are many reasons to attack the Volunteers, as they are undoubtedly the team with the highest market presence in the country, at the moment. We could compile a bullet point list to highlight the multitude of reasons to sink our teeth into the Wildcats here.
First, Tennessee has the highest market credibility of any team in America at the moment. This is chalked up to many things, including the fact that Tennessee has covered six of their last seven and they own perhaps the most impressive win of the year when they defeated #3 Alabama in Knoxville two weeks ago. Since then, the rah-rah surrounding Tennessee has been astounding, as this team has been argued by some to be the best team in the country and some prognosticators have dared penciled the Vols into the College Football Playoff. Such hyperbole of course fans the flames of the market pandemonium surrounding Big Orange and once again we reiterate that getting behind Tennessee now is doing so a week, or two, or three too late. You would be late to the party.
In what was a letdown spot last week against UT-Martin, the Volunteers covered a 37½-point line just because they could and backers were once again rewarded. Stepping into a series where Tennessee has won eight of the last 10 and covered on eight occasions in the preceding 10 encounters, Tennessee seems like another sure-fire wager here but once again this trend inflates the Volunteers’ stock and renders them to be inflated by virtue of recency bias in the series before we even factor in the external considerations that have conflated Tennessee’s appeal. In summation, one is laying inflated points upon inflated points here and that is a bad practice.
Finally and perhaps most importantly is that the Vols have Georgia on deck. Should the #1 Georgia Bulldogs dispatch their arch rival Florida in Jacksonville (Georgia is a 23-point favorite) Tennessee will be heading to Athens, Georgia next week for a rivalry showdown with the defending national champion for all the marbles. The media will bill this one as the two best teams in the country going head-to-head. They will bill it as the biggest game of the season. Given the woes that Tennessee has endured in recent history, it is not beyond imagination that such a potentially enormous match-up against a fierce rival could prove distracting to the Volunteers. Therefore, spotting inflated points in such a scenario against a Kentucky team that many pegged as the second best team in the SEC East earlier this year is very risky business, Should the Vols take their eye off the ball at all, they cannot only fail to cover but suffer a scare or even worse, an upset.
Kentucky +11½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)