Coming off a season-opening win over the Bowling Green Falcons last Thursday, Tennessee football will host the Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday for a noon kickoff. This game is being dubbed the Johnny Majors Classic.
UT coasted to victory in its opener to kick off the Josh Heupel era, beating BGSU 38-6. It was the first opener the Vols won by more than one score since 2015, when they beat that same BGSU Program 59-30. This was also their first Thursday opener since 2016.
Pitt, meanwhile, is entering its seventh season under head coach Pat Narduzzi and is coming off a 51-7 win over the UMASS Minutemen. After going 7-7, 8-5 and 6-5 the previous three years, he’s still trying to take the next step with Pitt.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Week 2 Odds
On the WynnBET Week 1 betting odds, Tennessee football is a 3.5-point underdog at home. The moneyline is set at Pitt -185 and UT +155, and the over/under is set at 55. Given Heupel’s track record, there’s clearly not a lot of faith in this team’s offense Saturday with that over/under, but it makes sense given the team’s struggles last week.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Oddsmakers are betting on the fact that the Vols’ offense has not come together with Joe Milton III at quarterback yet and will struggle against what should be a solid defense. Honestly, they’re probably right.
Although this is the one true toss-up game for UT, it comes as the program is still trying to gel, and given Milton’s issues on the deep ball, there are lots of reasons to believe Pitt is just too much. The only question now is whether or not they will cover. If this were later in the season, there’d be a different take, but it’s so early that Heupel’s offense hasn’t taken off yet.
Honestly, I say they will. This will be a close contest for most of the game, but Pitt will eventually take control and dominate the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter. As a result, they will move to 3-0 all time against Rocky Top, as they beat UT 13-3 to open the 1983 season and 30-6 during the 1980 season.
Heupel and Tennessee football just have too much to work on right now before they’re ready to face Pitt. Your best bet here is Pitt straight-up on the moneyline. Also, though, take them to cover the spread, and take the under since Pitt will cover the game. So you want to go Pitt -3.5 (-185 moneyline); Under 55. The score will look something like: Pitt 31 Tennessee 21.