Tennessee is 5-1 both straight up and against the spread its last six times out on neutral fields. West Virginia is 2-6 SU, 1-7 ATS over its last eight neutral-site games. Which way are we leaning with our free college football ATS pick on Week 1’s West Virginia-Tennessee battle Saturday, Sept. 1 in Charlotte?
The Week 1 college football betting odds opened the Mountaineers at around -8 over the Volunteers, but early betting action then bumped that spread to -10.
West Virginia returns 12 starters this year from a team that finished 7-6 last season (6-7 ATS). The Mountaineers started 7-3 last year but lost their last three games, including a bowl to Utah. Seven starters are back on offense on an offense that averaged 460 YPG last year, including senior QB Will Grier, three of last year’s top four receivers and four along the offensive line. But only five starters return on a defense that allowed 446 YPG last season, following the loss of last year’s top two tacklers.
Tennessee, meanwhile, returns 12 starters from a team that went 4-8 last year (2-10 ATS). The Vols started 3-1 last year, then lost seven of their last eight and finished 0-8 in the SEC. Injuries, however, played a huge part. The Vols also canned their head coach, so they’re now led by Coach Pruitt, who most recently served as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. Six starters are back on an offense that averaged just 291 YPG last year, including a couple of QB with starting experience, last year’s top two receivers and three along the offensive line. And six starters are back on a defense that allowed 413 YPG last year, including last year’s top four tacklers.
It’s hard to believe but this is the first-ever meeting between these two programs.
Free NCAAF Pick
West Virginia owns one of the top quarterbacks in the country while Tennessee is operating under a new coaching regime, and the learning curve that comes with it. But the cupboard isn’t exactly bare in Knoxville, and the spread on this game is now inflated. We’ll take the points here with the Volunteers.
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