It’s that time of year. The start of summer signals that the college football season is really just a couple of short months away, and it’s time to start arguing about how many games your team can win this year.
For Tennessee, it’s expected to be a good season with super senior quarterback Hendon Hooker returning for his second season under Josh Heupel. The Volunteers were a nice surprise last year, transforming seemingly overnight into one of the best offensive teams in the country. Heupel arrived with a mess on his hands, but truly worked his magic to bring home a respectable 7-6 mark.
With success comes expectations, and Heupel will be expected to take another step forward this fall. Considering the pieces Tennessee is returning though, that shouldn’t be an issue. Star receiver Cedric Tillman is back, along with four starters on the offensive line, running back Jabari Small, and both starting tight ends Jacob Warren and Princeton Fant. The Volunteers have also done a nice job in the transfer portal in the secondary, patching up the weakest part of the roster by adding Wesley Walker and Andre Turrentine.
So how many games can Tennessee win in 2022? According to Caesars Sportsbook, the over/under is set at 7.5. The odds on the over are currently -145, meaning money has come flying in on the over since it was posted.
Not only does Tennessee have a strong core coming back, but the SEC East appears to be pretty weak outside of Georgia. Florida is in a bit of a transitional year with Billy Napier coming in. Kentucky and Tennessee finished second and third in the East last season, and may be poised to do the same in 2022.
Games at Pittsburgh, at LSU, and Florida/Kentucky at home will likely define Tennessee’s 2022 season. The market agrees — eight wins seems like a solid bet to make, and nine or ten remains on the table if things fall their way.