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Tennessee is 8-0 straight up in its last eight season openers and 5-2-1 against the spread. Georgia Tech is 9-1 SU and 5-2-1 ATS over its last 10 openers. Two teams who have enjoyed recent early-season success meet when the Volunteers battle the Yellow Jackets on Monday night on a “neutral” field at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
College football point spread: The Volunteers opened as six-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 36.6-31.2 Volunteers (College football picks on every game)
Why the Tennessee Volunteers can cover the spread
The Vols get back 14 starters this season from a team that went 9-4 last year and won a bowl. Tennessee started 5-0 last season, with wins over Florida and Georgia, and was briefly ranked in the Top 10. But tough losses to Texas A&M and South Carolina and a bad defeat against Alabama knocked them from relevance.
The Volunteers then responded by finishing with four wins in their last five games, including a bowl victory over Nebraska.
Seven starters are back on offense this year, including four along the line, and seven starters are back on defense, including last year’s top five tacklers. And Tennessee is 4-0 both SU and ATS on neutral fields under head coach Butch Jones.
Why the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets can cover the spread
The Ramblin’ Wreck returns 16 starters from a team that also went 9-4 last year and won a bowl. Georgia Tech was only 5-4 heading into the stretch last season but won its last four games, including victories over Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech and rival Georgia.
Eight starters return on offense, including running back Dedrick Mills, who led the team in rushing last year as a freshman, and three along the offensive line. And eight starters return on defense, including three of last year’s top four tacklers. The Yellow Jackets won twice outright last year as underdogs on the betting lines. They’re also 10-5 ATS their last 15 times out as dogs.
Tennessee must replace QB Josh Dobbs, who not only threw 27 touchdown passes last year, but led the team in rushing. Also, that Ramblin’ Wreck triple-option is always tough to deal with, no matter how much time you’ve had to prepare.
Finally, with this game being played a couple miles from the Georgia Tech campus, the Yellow Jackets will own a home-crowd advantage. For a game that could go either way, the smart money on the Vegas odds takes the points.
College football betting trends
Georgia Tech is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games in Week 1.
Georgia Tech is 3-1 ATS in its last four games as an underdog.
The total has gone over in Tennessee’s last four games.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.