NCAA Football Las Vegas Picks and Odds: Alabama vs Tennessee
Thursday, October 18, 2012
by Frank Martin
The first BCS poll released this week merely affirmed what has been obvious throughout the college football season: Alabama Crimson Tide is the clear-cut No. 1 and appears well on its way to defending its national championship.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide have barely broken a sweat this season and will seek their seventh victory when they visit Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night.
The Volunteers have lost two straight and three of four - all to conference opponents - and will be looking to halt a string of five straight losses to Alabama.
Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 SEC): The Crimson Tide used an overpowering ground game to steamroll Missouri 42-10 last week. Eddie Lacy rambled for a career-high 177 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries and T.J. Yeldon piled up 144 yards and a pair of scores. While Alabama rolled up a season-high 533 yards of total offense, it once again received a dominating effort from its defense, which has allowed an average of 7.5 points and has held four opponents to 10 or fewer points. The Crimson Tide limited Missouri to only three yards rushing and are yielding 181.2 total yards per game. Alabama has won the last two meetings with Tennessee by a combined 78-16 margin.
Tennessee Volunteers (3-0, 0-3): The Volunteers haven't had many problems putting up points but their biggest drawback is a defense that sits at the opposite end of the spectrum from Alabama. Tennessee has been singed for 92 points in back-to-back losses to Mississippi State and Georgia and has allowed an average of 43 points in its three conference defeats. Quarterback Tyler Bray has thrown for 1,730 yards and an SEC-leading 17 TDs, but he was limited to a season-low 148 yards in last week's 41-31 loss at unbeaten Mississippi State. The Vols are expected to be without leading rusher Rajion Neal, who suffered an ankle injury last week following back-to-back 100-yard games.
1. Alabama is riding a 10-game win streak, having won each by at least 19 points.
2. Tennessee has lost 14 consecutive games and 20 of 21 to ranked opponents.
3. Crimson Tide QB AJ McCarron has thrown 227 passes without an interception. He bruised his knee against Missouri but is practicing without limitations.
NCAA Football Prediction: Alabama 34, Tennessee 13.