Game week is here for the Music City Bowl as both Nebraska and Tennessee are taking the practice fields in Nashville.
The Tennessee Vols (8-4) opened as a three-point favorite when the matchup was announced on bowl selection Sunday. Picking bowl games has always been a difficult task for fans due to team’s different scenarios heading into to each bowl game. Nebraska (9-3) have a better overall record than UT, yet the Cornhuskers are the underdog.
As bowl practices have neared conclusion, Tennessee has grown as an overwhelming favorite. ESPN’s “Pick Center” shows the Vols as a 6.5-point favorite, as of Tuesday morning. The over/under point total sits at 58 for the game.
Vegas Experts on the Music City Bowl
It’s interesting to see 68-percent of the money coming in on the Vols to cover the 6.5-point spread. Tennessee is only 5-7 against the spread this season, while Nebraska is 6-4-2. As favorites, the Vols are 4-6 against the spread and have two out-right losses (South Carolina, Vanderbilt).
College Football Vegas Expert Will Harris doesn’t necessarily trust Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. He cites the uncertainty in the administration and a lack of faith in the coaching staff for reasons why he’s picking Nebraska to cover the 6.5-point spread. Harris also demonstrates his confidence in picking Nebraska to cover even with the Huskers missing some key players on offense.
Rufus Peabody, of Massey-Peabody Analytics, sees the Music City Bowl going a different way. Peabody says Nebraska’s 7-0 start to the season is deceiving and the Vols’ strength of schedule stood out, even with a down SEC East.
“Tennessee’s schedule was the 18th-toughest in football; Nebraska’s 64th. Yes, Tennessee failed to live up to expectations, but the Volunteers are a more talented team than Nebraska. The Cornhuskers started 7-0, but it was a deceptive 7-0. They should have lost to Oregon, and required second-half comebacks to beat Illinois and Purdue, two bad teams. In the past month, Nebraska lost to Ohio State and Iowa by a combined score of 102-13. We think Tennessee should be close to a double-digit favorite here.”
Massey-Peabody sees the Vols as a 9-point favorite.
For Vegas expert analysis of all the remaining bowl games check out ESPN’s breakdown.