An SEC duel will take place this weekend as the Missouri Tigers head on the road to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Let’s check out our college football odds series where our Missouri-Tennessee prediction and pick will be made.

The Tigers come into this one with a 4-5 record and a close loss to Kentucky at home by a score of 21-17. Believe it or not, four of the five losses for Missouri have come within one possession, and they haven’t officially been blown out in a game since a meeting with Kansas State in which they lost 40-12. With their bowl eligibility hanging in the balance, the Tigers need to be in a winning state of mind in the final weeks of the season.

After last year’s matchup saw the Volunteers absolutely humiliate the Tigers 62-24 while amassing 683 total yards of offense, including an eye-popping 458 rushing yards, the Vols would love a repeat of this after a disgruntling loss to Georgia, 27-13. In the latest edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings, Tennessee came in at the No. 5 slot with a good chance still to make it as one of the top-four teams in the nation by season’s end.

Here are the Missouri-Tennessee college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Football Odds: Missouri-Tennessee Odds

Missouri Tigers: +20.5 (-108)

Tennessee Volunteers: -20.5 (-112)

Over: 56.5 (-110)

Under: 56.5 (-110)

Why Missouri Could Cover The Spread

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Even though their record might suggest that this is not a very good football team, let’s not forget that the Tigers were minutes away from shocking the Georgia Bulldogs at home before they eventually could not hold on, losing 26-22. Although Missouri has yet to secure that signature win on the season, this is a team that deserves to not be overlooked by any sense of the word.

While Missouri may find it difficult to garner the upset victory against the Volunteers, there is a considerable chance that the Tigers have what it takes to cover the spread and make things interesting out on Rocky Top. Like previously mentioned, the fact that Missouri was steamrolled a season ago by Tennessee will surely be on the minds of every player that suits up for play this weekend. Unlike last year, the Tigers will have no shot in covering if the defense plays the way they did. Luckily, Missouri’s defense has been vastly improved this season and is only allowing 304.4 yards per game.

After ranking 105th nationally in total defense during the 2021 season, there is no doubt that the Tigers’ best chance to cover the spread will fall on the shoulders of this gritty defensive unit under first-year coordinator Blake Baker. Not only that, but Mizzou has put the clamps down on opposing teams’ passing statistics, as the Tigers are holding quarterbacks to under 200 yards per game through the air, which will be critical when facing off with Vols QB Hendon Hooker. Sprinkle in a little urgency on offense, and Mizzou may be able to keep this one close.

Why Tennessee Could Cover The Spread

Although Tennessee had their worst game of the season in the loss to Georgia with so much on the line, the Volunteers have a chance to bounce back in a big way entering their final home game of the season. The biggest thing that Tennessee struggled with a week ago was coming up with yards offensively, which was a surprise to many considering Hendon Hooker and Co. average a whopping 45.3 PPG. Consider the lone defeat just a bad day at the office, as UT’s best shot at winning by more than 20.5 points will be because of this offense and the amount of weapons at their disposal.

Obviously, this offensive attack is one of America’s best, but don’t sleep on a defense that finally has the speed to compete at a championship level. On paper, Tennessee is led by cornerback Trevon Flowers in the secondary with his team lead in tackles along with two interceptions when in pass coverage. Outside of Flowers balling out, watch out for defensive lineman Byron Young to clog up the middle and get pressure on the quarterback with his five sacks on the year. Missouri’s offense is one of the worst in the SEC, so the Volunteers will look to shut them down.

Final Missouri-Tennessee Prediction & Pick

The current spread in this one is intriguing to say the least, as the matchup to circle will be the explosive Tennessee offense against a much-improved Missouri defense that now ranks as the 13th-best in the country. Even though Mizzou is a different team from last year, so is Tennessee and its title aspirations.

Final Missouri-Tennessee Prediction & Pick: Tennessee -20.5 (-112)