Tennessee football: Week 8 SEC, top 25 picks by Caleb Calhoun

The sun peeks over Neyland Stadium before the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee college football game on Volunteer Boulevard in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.Kentucky Vs Tennessee Football 202095971
The sun peeks over Neyland Stadium before the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee college football game on Volunteer Boulevard in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.Kentucky Vs Tennessee Football 202095971 /

Here are Caleb Calhoun’s Week 8 picks for the Tennessee football Volunteers, SEC, and Top 25.

The Big Ten is back this weekend, giving us a few more games to add to our list of SEC and top 25 predictions, highlighted by the Alabama Crimson Tide visiting Tennessee football Saturday afternoon. Before looking ahead to those games, here’s a look at how I performed in Week 7. I’m happy to say I’m back at .500 gambling, but straight-up, I was horrible this past weekend.

Week 7 performance

Straight up: 2-3

Gambling picks: 6-4

  • 2-3 against the spread
  • 4-1 over/under

Overall performance for 2020

Straight-up: 25-10

Gambling picks: 35-35

  • 18-17 against the spread
  • 17-18 over/under

At least the gambling winning record is something to build off of. I’ve got a bit more momentum than Tennessee football does right now. This week, we’ve got four SEC games to pick and four non-conference games, including Big 12, ACC, Big Ten and AAC games. With the hopes of getting above .500 across the board, here we go.

31. 842. 24. 841. Prediction

Auburn -3.5; Under 71.5

I’ll get to the pick in a second, but up front, take the Under. Auburn has a solid defense and won’t be able to force Ole Miss into a shootout. The Tigers have faced tough-minded defensive teams all year. They finally face an offensive-minded team that plays no defense. Gus Malzahn’s unit will look solid, and the defense will do enough to get them back on track with a win. They’ll cover too.

N.C. State +15.5; Over 60.5

As baffling as Tennessee football’s loss to the Kentucky Wildcats was, the North Carolina Tar Heels’ loss to the Florida State Seminoles may have eclipsed it. Now they’re back at home against the N.C. State Wolfpack, who are 4-1. In a high-scoring affair, Mack Brown’s team rebounds with a win, but they don’t cover.

27. 837. 31. 856. Prediction

Oklahoma State -3.5; Over 51.5

Remember when undefeated Oklahoma State blew a three-score lead to Iowa State and lost in double-overtime in a game that altered college football history back in 2011? Could that happen here? ISU has scored 30 points in three straight games, and OSU had 47 in its last outing. With both teams coming off the bye, take the over. However, OSU will get the win and cover at home.

Related Story. Five Alabama Crimson Tide to watch for against Vols. light

10. 822. Prediction. 17. 833

Kentucky -4.5; Under 47.5

Two resurgent teams after 0-2 starts now clash. The Kentucky Wildcats found themselves after thrashing Tennessee football 34-7, and the Missouri Tigers found a quarterback in Connor Bazelak, then had a bye week to work with him. Take Mark Stoops’ defense, though, to get the better of Eliah Drinkwitz’s offense. UK wins and covers, and the game hits the under.

850. 30. 817. Prediction. 28

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South Carolina +5.5; Over 54.5

Will Muschamp’s South Carolina Gamecocks are another resurgent team after beating the Auburn Tigers, and now they get to face a reeling LSU Tigers team. However, coming off a bye, Ed Orgeron’s group will be motivated, and the offense will do enough to win this game. We’re still taking USC to cover, but this game is going to hit the over.

23. 852. Prediction. 24. 811

Minnesota +2.5; Under 54.5

All signs point to this game favoring Minnesota due to the talent it has back on offense. However, the long layoff for Big Ten play will create some rust, and that will favor Jim Harbaugh’s style. As a result, Michigan comes away with a hideous win. The Wolverines won’t cover, but the game is going to hit the under.

884. Prediction. 34. 830. 42

SMU -2.5; Over 55.5

After scoring over 30 points in every game this year en route to a 5-0 record, it’s safe to say the SMU Mustangs will make sure this one hits the over. Playing in Texas, Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats will have to match them blow for blow. They won’t have the offense to do it, and SMU covers while also making this a high-scoring affair.

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35. 829. 17. 839. Prediction

Tennessee +21.5; Under 65.5

The Alabama Crimson Tide have been hitting the 65 and up range in totals for games the past three weeks because they’ve faced high-powered offenses. Tennessee football is not a high-powered offense. As a result, Alabama gets an early lead, calls off the dogs and lets the Vols score late to actually beat the spread while the game hits the under.