Tag Archives: odds

Early Tennessee football lines show Vols as heavy underdogs

Tennessee opens the season on Aug. 31 against Chuckie Keeton and Utah State.

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeEarly lines on eight Tennessee games indicate that Las Vegas oddsmakers have little optimism for the Vols in 2014.

Tennessee opponents are favored in seven of the eight games released by the Golden Nugget as part of their annual early lines.

Here they are:

UT (+19) at Oklahoma
UT (+17) at Georgia
Florida at UT (+4.5)
UT (+12) at Ole Miss
Alabama at UT (+20)
UT (+18) at South Carolina
Missouri at UT (+4)
UT (-3) at Vanderbilt

Interestingly, roughly one-fourth of the 200 games handicapped by the Golden Nugget had line movements after their initial release to reflect betting trends. But only one Tennessee game was adjusted: Georgia is now favored by 16 points, down from 17. In other words, it doesn’t appear the public is flocking to bet on Tennessee.

Of course, UT will likely be favored in the four games not listed.

If you’re inclined to optimism, think of it this way: The Vols must only steal only one upset after winning the five games in which they will be favored to become bowl eligible.

If you’re inclined to pessimism, the rest of this blog is for you.

A 19-point spread translates to a 2.7 percent chance of winning against Oklahoma. Or just an 11.45 percent chance at Georgia.

For the sake of this simulation, we’ll give UT a 6.5-point edge against Utah State and an 8-point advantage against Arkansas State and Kentucky. We’re giving the Vols a 99.95 percent chance of victory against Chattanooga.

Spin those figures through my simulator 1,000 times and this is what you get:

That’s a 32 percent chance of winning at least six games and making a bowl, a 31 percent chance of having the same record as last year and a 37 percent chance of being worse.

I’ll update the simulator with new numbers as the season goes on.

Think some of the odds are way off? Let me know.

Tennessee opens as 4-point favorite at Kentucky

Tennessee runs through the T on Nov. 23, 2013, against Vanderbilt. (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee has opened as a four-point favorite over Kentucky in offshore sports books.

The Vols (4-7, 1-6 SEC) and Wildcats (2-9, 0-7) will play their final game of the season on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.)

Tennessee lost to Vanderbilt 14-10 on Saturday to fall out of bowl contention and ensure the program’s fourth consecutive losing season.

In the Sagarin predictor ratings, which are sometimes frighteningly accurate, the Vols have a 5.19-point edge over Kentucky.

In early offshore lines, Tennessee a 3-point favorite over Vanderbilt

We’re waiting for Vegas books to weigh in, but Tennessee (4-6, 1-5 SEC) has opened offshore up as a 3-point favorite against Vanderbilt (6-4, 3-4). The teams meet Saturday at Neyland Stadium (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.)

The line means the game would essentially be even on a neutral site. We’ll see if the numbers change when Vegas opens a line later today.

When home-field advantage is factored in, Tennessee is a 2.5-point underdog in the newly updated Sagarin predictor ratings.

Vols’ bowl chances drop to 29 percent, but 2-0 finish still possible (with video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee Vols keep losing and its opponent keep looking tougher.

Those have been the two big reasons the Vols’ likelihood of being bowl eligible has continued to slip in each week of our projections.

After Tennessee’s third consecutive loss and Vanderbilt’s impressive win at Florida, I’m now projecting the Commodores as a 2-point favorite at Neyland Stadium on Nov. 23 based on the current Sagarin ratings. That drops the Vols’ estimated likelihood of winning to 47 percent (down from 53 percent the last time we ran the simulation.

If Tennessee loses to Vanderbilt, the final game at Kentucky on Nov. 30 won’t matter as much. I’m giving the Vols a 4-point edge based on the Sagarin ratings, although I predict the actual point spread (and the final score) will be larger. In any case, that gives UT a 62 percent chance of winning (down from 64 percent a week ago).

With only two games left, running a simulation really isn’t necessary. We can quickly calculate the odds of going 2-0 (29.1 percent), 0-2 (20.1 percent) and 1-1 (50.8 percent).

We ran the simulation about 1,000 times and it was, in fact, very close to those numbers. (The longer I run the simulation, the more it should approach the numbers above).

Simulated results of UT's season, updated Nov. 10, 2013

The Vols’ likelihood of making a bowl has continued to drop since we started these projections.

Infographic  UT's bowl chances over time

Later in the week, we’ll take a look at where Tennessee might end up if the Vols reach .500. I’ll update last week’s bowl projections to reflect recent games and change some bowl estimates that people complained about (like Mizzou to the Sugar).

Updated predictions after Vols’ big win: UT’s bowl chances now nearly 80 percent

Infographic for Vols' final record

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee took a huge step toward reaching bowl eligibility with an upset win of then-No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols (4-3, 1-2 SEC) only have to win two more games to guarantee a .500 record and a trip to the postseason.

How likely are the Vols to reach that goal? We recalculated our Monte Carlo simulation to find out.

Here are the somewhat subjective odds we are using for the final five games:

Opponent — Chance of winning

at Alabama — 8 percent

at Missouri — 38 percent

Auburn — 42 percent

Vanderbilt — 63 percent

at Kentucky — 81 percent

To make these percentages less subjective, I’ve tried to base them on the anticipated point spread for the game. Given that Alabama is favored by 28 over Tennessee, eight percent is extremely generous. (In other words, teams who are 28-point underdogs win much less often than that). Missouri could be undefeated and ranked in the top-5 when the Vols travel to Columbia, so that spread could grow, too. Auburn is likely to be 8-1 and in the top-10 when the Tigers travel to Knoxville, but the spread will be mitigated by the Vols’ home-field advantage. Vanderbilt is a wild card, too, as the Commodores just beat Georgia.

In any case, when we plug those numbers into the simulation and run it 1,000 times, here’s what we get.

Record in last five games — likelihood — overall record, SEC record

5-0 — 0.91 percent — 9-3, 6-2

4-1 — 9.75 percent — 8-4, 5-3

3-2 — 32.69 percent — 7-5, 4-4

2-3 — 36.45 percent — 6-6, 3-5

1-4 — 17.56 percent — 5-7, 2-6

0-5 — 2.64 percent — 4-8, 1-7

Bowl eligible? 79.8 percent

Miss a bowl? 20.2 percent

Because a Monte Carlo simulation uses random numbers, this projection may change every time the spreadsheet is edited. In other words, every time a change is made, the random simulation is re-calculated another 1,000 times, providing new projections.

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