Photo Credit: Florida Athletics
With Tennessee currently riding an 11-game losing streak to the Gators, some people raised an eyebrow when Vegas opened the Vols as double-digit favorites against Florida last week.
The line has come down a bit since that time, but the Vols still remain a 7.5-point favorite, according to Vegas.
If you’re not a gambler, why should you care? Vegas has almost nailed this line since 2012. Here’s a look at the past few years.
In 2015, Vegas listed the Gators as a 3-point favorite over Tennessee. The Vols looked to have that game wrapped up and Vegas beat, but some late-game meltdowns helped Florida escape with the narrow, 1-point victory.
In the 2014 edition of this rivalry, Florida came into Knoxville as a 1-point favorite over the Vols. After three quarters of ugly play from both teams, Tennessee was heading into the fourth quarter up 9-0. In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Treon Harris would spark the comeback and Florida would edge out Tennessee 10-9.
In the 2013 game, Tennessee, with new coach Butch Jones, would head down to Gainesville as a 12-point underdog and an extremely depleted team. The Vols started things off right with an interception return for a touchdown by Devaun Swafford, but from that point on, it was all Gators. Florida would go on a 31-3 run after, that and the Vols got another TD in garbage time – final score 31-17.
In 2012, Vegas, to much disbelief of Vol fans, made Florida a 16.5-point favorite over Tennessee. Derek Dooley in his third season as head coach at Tennessee seemed to have the Vols poised for a big season after unveiling a high- powered offense behind the arm of Tyler Bray and speed of Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter. The Vols would go into half with a 14-10 lead, but the Florida defense would take control of the second half and help the offense go on a 27-6 run and end the game with a final score of 37-20
So looking back at recent history, Vegas has correctly been within two points of predicting the spread in this matchup since 2012.
If that trend continues, the Vols will be celebrating the end of the streak in 2016.