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Tennessee Volunteers Odds - Kiffin's antics will overshadow poor offensive team

Posted by Blake Frazier on 4/18/2012 12:38:44 PM
NCAAF betting oddsLane Kiffin has certainly stirred the pot since replacing Philip Fulmer at Tennessee in November, but it surely hasn’t increased the Volunteers’ odds if you’re sports betting online. Tennessee is just aiming to get back to respectability on the field, but you can bet that Kiffin will make his mark off of it.

Tennessee Volunteers odds: Anemic offense has too many injuries to overcome

  • Four offensive players injured over the summer
  • One of NCAA’s best defenses could be better with Monte Kiffin
  • Volunteers headed for a severe beatdown in Florida thanks to Lane Kiffin

Seven starters are back offensively for Tennessee, but it’s unknown yet if that’s a good or bad thing. The Volunteers were 115th in offense last season...out of roughly 120 teams. Jonathon Crompton and Nick Stephens will vie for the starter’s role after splitting time throughout 2008, which killed any chance of rhythm for the offense. Montario Hardesty will get his first chance to be the No.1 back in his senior year, and he’ll be running behind a line with three returning starters and lots of experience. The real problems come at wideout, where the Volunteers have lost three players to injury over the summer to go with injured running back Toney Williams.

If it wasn’t for the defense, Tennessee may have gone winless last year, as they were tied for third in the nation. Rico McCoy was second on the team in tackles this year, and will now fill the middle-linebacker spot for Tennessee, while Eric Berry and Dennis Rogan are the heart of the secondary. The Volunteers will have to replace two starters on the defensive line to get some sort of a pass rush, but Berry has proven to be a disruptive presence with three sacks on the safety blitz. The defense will have to be just as good in 2008 if the Volunteers want to have any sort of chance in your offshore sportsbook. But they will be taught by Kiffin’s father Monte, better known as the creator of the famed “Tampa 2” defense.

Kiffin came into the SEC and went straight at Florida and their coach, Urban Meyer. For that reason alone, you should watch Tennessee’s trip to Florida on September 19th, because there’s going to be a lot of trash-talking, and it probably won’t end well for the Volunteers. This is one of just four road games on Tennessee’s slate (Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky are the others). Back-to-back home games against Auburn and Georgia could decide the Volunteers’ NCAA football betting fate.

Tennessee is a longshot this year with odds of +2000 to take the SEC, and a whopping +6600 to win the national title for the first time since 1998. It’ll be a big change on campus, as Fulmer was coach of the Volunteers since 1992, but Kiffin has put his stamp on the program already. It seems as though he likes the attention on him, to take away from a potentially disastrous offense. It was bad before, but the injuries to the receivers could be the nail in their coffin. The defense should be just as good with the elder Kiffin leading the way, but there are just too many injuries on an offense that was terrible in the first place. Don’t even think about betting on the Volunteerssports betting odds this year.

For more NCAA football betting team previews ahead of the season, follow Blake Frazier in the Betting Edge at

Blake walked onto his college football team and had a brief stint as an assistant coach after he graduated. He brings a sharp mind to the world of sports handicapping. Blake understands the nuances of the game that only someone who has played would understand. Thoughts or questions?



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