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USATSI

The Ball State Cardinals will travel to match up against the Tennessee Volunteers in the 2022 season opener on Thursday night. This will be the first meeting in history between these programs. Ball State finished the 2021 season with a 6-7 record, and on the flip side, Tennessee produced a 7-6 record, including 5-3 at Neyland Stadium.

Kickoff from Knoxville, Tenn., is set for 7 p.m. ET. After opening as 28-point favorites, Caesars Sportsbook now lists the Volunteers at -36 in the latest Tennessee vs. Ball State odds. The over/under for total points is set at 66.5. Before making any Tennessee vs. Ball State picks or Week 1 college football predictions, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It enters Week 1 of the 2022 college football season on a 45-32 run on all top-rated college football spread and money-line picks that dates back to 2021. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Tennessee vs. Ball State and just locked in its picks and CFB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several college football odds and betting lines for Ball State vs. Tennessee:

  • Tennessee vs. Ball State spread: Volunteers -36
  • Tennessee vs. Ball State over/under: 66.5 points
  • BSU: The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last five games on grass
  • TENN: The Over is 6-0 in the Volunteers' last six games overall
  • Tennessee vs. Ball State money line: See picks at SportsLine

Why Tennessee can cover

Senior receiver Cedric Tillman took a massive step forward during the 2021 season as he led the team in catches (64), receiving yards (1,081), and touchdowns (12). He had just eight receptions for 124 yards in his previous three seasons combined before breaking out last year. Tillman enters tonight's matchup with momentum as he reeled in 100-plus yards in four straight games to end his 2021 season.

On the defensive end, senior linebacker Jeremy Banks is a tackling machine who always finds himself near the ball. The Tennessee native was first on the team in total tackles (128) last year and tied for first in sacks (5.5). He recorded double-digit stops in six games, including a career-high 20 tackles in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl against Purdue

Why Ball State can cover

The Cardinals trot out a talented duo at wide receiver. This aerial attack is headlined by senior receiver Jayshon Jackson. He is consistently creating separation and getting open against opposing defenders. Jackson has reeled in a catch in 25 straight games heading into this contest. The Illinois native led the team in catches (69) and receiving yards (825) to go with five scores.

Senior receiver Yo'Heinz Tyler is another playmaker for Ball State. Tyler is a nice red zone target who owns the size and quickness needed to find space. During the 2021 season, he led the team in touchdown grabs (6) while ranking third on the squad in catches (49) and receiving yards (487). He's also entering the 2022 campaign having caught a pass in 26 straight games, which is tied for the eighth-longest streak in the nation. 

How to make Ball State vs. Tennessee picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Under on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 62 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in 70% of simulations. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Tennessee vs. Ball State? And which side of the spread hits in 70% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.