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Tennessee Volunteers Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


Tennessee entered the 2004 season a correctly assumed powerhouse of the SEC but also a “name brand” team that often offered little or no sports handicapping value as their losing record against the odds in each of their previous three seasons indicated. But being a “name brand” college football team that plays home games in front of over 110,000 fans, the Vols are difficult to ignore, even for those experienced at sports handicapping.

Tennessee opened the season strong with a 42-17 home win over UNLV as 19-point chalks. In their next game, a highly touted nationally televised affair at home against Florida, the Vols won 30-28 as 3-point chalks in game many believed that they should have lost. They followed that with a 42-17 pasting of Louisiana Tech as 23-point home chalks. At this point the Vols were 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the odds as they prepared to host Auburn in another high profile game.

While Auburn was undefeated few believed that they could maintain that status all the way to the New Year. Tennessee was installed as a small 2-point favorite and many online sports betting blogs were touting how there was no way that Auburn could escape Knoxville with a win. Tennessee was at the top of many lists of football picks that fateful day in which they were blown out by Auburn by a score of 10-34.

In an incredible sports handicapping study of how fickle and emotional the general sports betting public is, those same folks touting Tennessee’s greatness before the Auburn game now said they had no chance at Georgia as 12.5-point dogs and how the Bulldogs would blow them away. The un-smart money again proved to be a week late and many dollars short as Tennessee got off the mat and won straight up at Georgia 19-14 in a shocker to many sports bettors.

Incredibly enough, from that win at Georgia, Tennessee would continue to confound and shock the sports handicapping community by going 5-1 straight up but 1-5 against the odds to wind up in the SEC title game, where they then LOST 28-38 to Georgia but WON against the odds. Tennessee closed out a bizarre season by clobbering Texas A&M 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl as 3.5-point dogs. The sports handicapping lesson from the 2004 Vols was that some teams should just be avoided!





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