Alabama vs Tennessee: Prediction, Pick, Spread, Football Odds, Live Stream, Watch Online, TV Channel

No. 3 Alabama heads to Rocky Top to face No. 6 Alabama on Saturday in what is known as the “Third Saturday in October.” However, this version is very different from those of the last decade and a half. Both teams will enter the matchup undefeated for the first time since 1989 and it’s just the third time during the Volunteers’ 15-game losing streak to the even-ranked Crimson Tide.

The Crimson Tide are fresh off their biggest upset of the season, a 24-20 win over Texas A&M last week that ended with the Aggies’ potential game-winning pass from the 2-yard line falling incomplete. The Volunteers are riding high after dominating then-No. 25 LSU 40-13 in Death Valley to set a wild stage in Knoxville, Tennessee.

What to expect on a Saturday afternoon? Let’s preview the game and make picks straight and against the spread.

Alabama vs. Tennessee: I need to know

The “Bryce Young Watch” continues: Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday is “optimistic” that Young, his star quarterback and Heisman winner, can take the field after missing last weekend’s game with a sprained shoulder. If he doesn’t, it will likely be freshman Jalen Milroe who takes the snaps. Milroe threw three touchdown passes last weekend, but also punted twice and threw an interception. Saban wasn’t exactly thrilled with Milroe’s performance.

“I just think Jalen played with a lot of anxiety,” Saban said. “I don’t think he’s allowed himself to let his coaching guide him and trust and believe in that to be successful running plays. You can’t turn the ball over and not run plays the way they’re designed to the do’s and don’ts, so those things are all things that we definitely need to improve on so that we can use all 11 players in our attacking group.

The stress at home against an unranked opponent is much different than the stress on the road in front of more than 100,000 fans against the No. 6 team in the country. If Young can’t go, or even if he’s not 100%, Alabama’s outlook will change dramatically.

Is Tillman back? Tennessee’s offense ranks seventh in the nation in passing at 340.4 yards per game, and much of that has come without its top receiver. Cedric Tillman had tight-rope ankle surgery in September after just three games, but the senior entered the season as quarterback Hendon Hooker’s top target. He threw for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns and will rejoin Jalin Hyatt and Bru McCoy in what will be the most challenging Alabama secondary will face all year.

“Cedric is doing well,” Heupel said Monday. “That’s part of the reason he had the surgery, is to try to come back for it. He continues to progress over the weekend, so we’ll monitor him. At the end of the day, as I said last week, our medical team and Cedric will make the right decision for him, now and in the future.”

Alabama’s best defense against this crew will likely be a wild pass rush led by EDGE Will Anderson Jr.

How do you stop Jahmyr Gibbs?: The star running back for the Crimson Tide has emerged as the focal point of the offense since Young’s injury. He rushed for 206 yards (including two carries of 70 or more yards) in the win over Arkansas and 154 more last week against the Aggies. Whether Young or Milroe takes the snaps, it’s imperative Tennessee stops him to give itself a chance.

“He’s explosive, so you know they’re going to try to find ways to get the ball in his hands,” Heupel said. “In the run game, it’s best not to let him start. If he does, he has the ability to get the distance. He has good vision and pace behind the line of scrimmage. When he sees a hole, he can hit it. He does really good job of making people miss, too. He’s got to bottle him up in the run game, and then when they use him in the pass game, you’ve got to do a great job of picking him up and matching him up.”

Tennessee has given up just 2.79 yards per carry and 89.2 yards per game on the ground. This weekend is going to be a blast at Rocky Top.

How to watch Alabama vs. Tennessee live

Date: Saturday, Oct. 15 | year: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Neyland Stadium — Knoxville, Tennessee
TV: CBS | Live broadcast:, CBS Sports App (Free)

Alabama vs. Tennessee Prediction, Picks

Selected game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Take Tennessee and the points, but you might want to consider “sprinkling a money line” on it. Even if Young does play, he’s unlikely to be 100%. If Alabama’s offense bogs down, or even if it only has a few empty possessions, the Vols will have a chance to win this game. That’s exactly what I think will happen. Hooker will make a huge Heisman Trophy statement in what will be Tennessee’s biggest win in a generation. Prediction: Tennessee (+7.5)

Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 7, and which top-15 favorite will fall hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned nearly $3,000 in winnings over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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