Paul Finebaum understands that the 2016 game between Alabama and Tennessee may have been a matchup of top 10 teams, but he doesn’t recall many people believing the Vols could actually win that week.

This time is different.

Finebaum made his regular Monday appearance on “McElroy and Cubelic In the morning” on WJOX out of Birmingham, Alabama, and shared why Tennessee fans are correct to feel optimism.

“Tennessee people think they’re going to win and they should think they’re going to win,” Finebaum said. “I think this is one of the biggest games in Knoxville in modern time.”

Finebaum projected that there will be video this week of Tennessee’s win over a Bear Bryant Alabama team 40 years ago. Before he makes a prediction, Finebaum said he’d wait to know Bryce Young’s availability as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

“That is the key, if Bryce Young is healthy and can play well, I don’t think he can,” Finebaum said. “… It makes me wonder that even if Bryce plays, what is his effectiveness going to be.”

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.