Tennessee started the Josh Heupel era off with some promising signs, going 7-6 in 2021.

Now, as the Volunteers prepare for the 2022 campaign, there’s plenty to like about this squad. Star QB Hendon Hooker returns, as do standout WR Cedric Tillman and RB Jabari Small.

This Tennessee offense should once again have plenty of firepower to overwhelm SEC defenses. And, the Vols’ defense seems to be on an upward trend, too.

So, what does ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) think of the Vols this fall? Well, FPI expects Tennessee to only match its 7-5 regular-season record from last year.

As you can see below, ESPN’s FPI has the Vols as underdogs against Pitt, LSU, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia:

  • Sept. 1 vs. Ball State: 95.1% chance of winning
  • Sept. 10 at Pitt: 37.3% chance of winning
  • Sept. 17 vs. Akron: 97.3% chance of winning
  • Sept. 24 vs. Florida: 60.2% chance of winning
  • Oct. 8 at LSU: 32.3% chance of winning
  • Oct. 15 vs. Alabama: 11.9% chance of winning
  • Oct. 22 vs. UT Martin: 98.5% chance of winning
  • Oct. 29 vs. Kentucky: 47.4% chance of winning
  • Nov. 5 at Georgia: 7.4% chance of winning
  • Nov. 12 vs. Mizzou: 78.5% chance of winning
  • Nov. 19 at South Carolina: 55.9% chance of winning
  • Nov. 26 at Vanderbilt: 87.9% chance of winning

Can Tennessee pull off an upset or 2 along the way and avoid getting upset in games it is supposed to win? Well, we have less than a month to wait to find out, as the Vols kick off the 2022 campaign on Thursday, Sept. 1, at home against Ball State.

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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.