Tennessee senior quarterback Josh Dobbs and 17 returning starters from the 2015 season are hoping to put the Volunteers back on the elitist football map when they embark on the 2016 campaign as one of the hottest 2016 college football betting favorites in the SEC conference. The Vols have not won the national championship since going 13-0 in the 1998 season, and have made three unsuccessful bids in the SEC Championship game since claiming that BCS Championship roughly 17 years ago.
Things may, however, be different for the Vols in 2016, according to the NCAAF odds, which seemingly suggest that Tennessee not only has the potential to make a double-digit season, but also go all the way to win it all in the nation. Is this the year for the Vols to return at the helm of the SEC and a possible contention for another national championship? Find out as we break down roster and their season total odds for 2016.
Here’s a Look at the 2016 Tennessee Volunteers Season Win Total Prediction
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) August 9, 2016
Dual-threat QB Josh Dobbs is coming off a season where he ran for 11 scores and passed for 15, supported by one of the strongest offensive lines in the nation. And this offense is set to return nearly all its key pieces from last season, including tailbacks Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara who combined for nearly 2,000 rushing yards in 2015, plus standout sophomore wideouts Preston Williams and Jauan Jennings. Combine that with the four returning linemen that kept Dobbs and his targets healthy in 2015, the Vols offense could easily be among the best in the SEC this year.
Meanwhile, the defense also has a chance to be special, welcoming back leading tackler in senior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and star defensive end Derek Barnett, who accounted for 10 of Tennessee’s 30 sacks in 2015. Throw in the additional momentum this roster will have from the experience of playing together for the past couple of seasons and doing well in 2015, you get a very solid and balanced squad that will cause a lot of headaches in the nation this year.
As long as the Volunteers can beat the Hokies in their meeting at Bristol Motor Speedway in Week 2, going 4-0 in the non-conference schedule shouldn’t be a big deal, as the meetings against Appalachian State (Week 1), Ohio (Week 3) and Tennessee Tech (Week 9) are as soft as they come outside the conference.
In the SEC, it won’t be that easy, with the Vols’ having their season-opener in the last Saturday of September vs. Florida, followed by a trip to Georgia against the Bulldogs the next week. Winning these two games is possible, but Tennessee must be careful to avoid complacency, especially against the Gators who’ve owned them for the past decade. The Vols will finish off October with road a road game at Texas A&M, a big home showdown against Alabama, and then a road tilt at South Carolina. This stretch will highly determine where the Vols finish in 2016. Predictably, I expect Tennessee to win four of these five crucial games, losing either to Bama or Florida, or at the very least going 3-2 in this crucial time.
My Final Remarks and Betting Prediction
Barring any major injuries, finishing atop the SEC East as a one-loss divisional champion should be very possible for Tennessee, and that will earn the Vols a chance to play in the SEC Championship, most likely against Alabama or LSU. So, if you asked me, I’d say I really like Tennessee’s value at cracking 10 wins.
Recommended Tennessee Season Total Bet: OVER 9.5 Wins