Tennessee Season Odds
KNOXVILLE, TN (TheSpread) – After snapping a three-year streak of missing out on a bowl game in 2014, is Tennessee ready to contend for an SEC Championship in 2015?
According to oddsmakers at GTBets, Tennessee is currently listed with 66/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs this upcoming season. The Volunteers are also getting odds of +900 to win the SEC Championship, while their over/under total for wins in 2015 has been set at 8.
Butch Jones is entering his third year as head coach of Tennessee. The Volunteers went 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the SEC in his first year in 2013, but the team jumped up to a 7-6 record in 2014 with a 3-5 SEC mark. The Volunteers ended the season with a 45-28 win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Jones has never been at a program for more than three years, as he left Central Michigan after going 11-2 in his third year with the program. He then left Cincinnati after going 9-3 in his third year with the Bearcats in 2012.
Tennessee was very competitive last season, as three of its losses were by single digits. The team had a solid defense that held opponents to 24.2 points per game, but the offense struggled to only 28.9 points and 370.6 yards per game. The team seemed to find an answer on offense toward the end of the season in QB Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs played the last six games of the season and finished with 1,206 passing yards with nine touchdowns while rushing for 469 yards and eight scores. His development as a starter should help the offense improve in 2015. The Vols also have sophomore running back Jalen Hurd returning, as he rushed for a team-high 899 yards in 2014. Also back are the top 10 receiving leaders from 2014 for Tennessee.
Tennessee has winnable non-conference meetings with Bowling Green, Western Carolina and North Texas, but faces a big challenge on Sept. 12 when it meets Oklahoma. SEC play features trips to Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri while it hosts Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. While a trip to Alabama doesn’t seem like a likely win, the schedule is pretty manageable for Tennessee, especially with so much returning talent. If the Vols can beat Oklahoma in Week 2, it could be a big season for Butch Jones.