22-8 overall, 12-4 conference, 1st SEC East
Against the spread
17-10 (8-4 home, 8-2 away)
17-10 (7-5 home, 7-3 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Tennessee Volunteers finished the 2004-05 season with a record of 14-17 straight up, which included a Southeastern Conference record of 6-10, good for fifth place in the East Division.
Against the spread the Volunteers fared little better as they covered just twelve out of twenty-seven games against the board for one of the worst performances in the SEC. After covering their first game of the season the Vols went on to drop their next seven consecutive games on the board. In a bizarre lesson on board value, however, the Volunteers did get the cash in five of their final seven games of the season when they were unwanted by the college basketball betting masses.
There was a sense of optimism for Tennessee hoops in 2005-06, however as new head coach Bruce Pearl arrived from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he led that program to unprecedented success and a “Sweet Sixteen” berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Break even start
Tennessee opened the 2005-06 season and the Pearl era with an unlined 106-83 home win over East Tennessee State. That was then followed by an 83-76 home win over Louisiana Lafayette as 10.5-point chalks.
From there the Vols would get into the black starting with a nice 92-58 blowout home win over Eastern Kentucky as 10.5-point chalks followed by a 64-53 neutral court win over Murray State as 4.5-point chalks.
But from there the Vols suffered a brief dip starting with an 89-81 win over Appalachian State as 16-point chalks followed by a 95-78 win at Texas as 13-point dogs. They then met up with Oklahoma State a 3-point dogs and scored a 73-89 blowout loss as 3-point dogs for a break even start of 3-3 against the board.
Tennessee next scored a pair of unlined home wins over Lipscomb and Alabama A&M. After that, they were to embark on an incredible run against the sportsbooks.
Tennessee first scored an 87-69 home win over South Alabama as 12.5-point chalks. That was then followed by a 76-69 win at South Carolina as 4.5-point chalks. Next came an 89-76 home win over Georgia as 8.5-point chalks for a third consecutive payoff. The payoffs briefly halted with a 74-88 loss at LSU as 7-point dogs. But from there, Tennessee became a Money machine.
First came a 79-88 loss/cover at Memphis as 9.5-point dogs. That was followed by an 80-76 win over eventual national champion Florida as 1.5-point home dogs. That was followed by an 88-65 win at Mississippi State as 5-point chalks. Next came an 81-65 home win over South Carolina as 6-point chalks followed by a 69-62 home win over Vanderbilt as 6.5-point chalks for a fifth straight payoff.
The money continued to roll in as the Volunteers scored an 86-72 home win over Mississippi as 13-point chalks. Next came a 75-67 win at Kentucky as 2.5-point dogs. That was then followed by an 83-78 win at Georgia as 3.5-point chalks followed by a 105-89 home win over Auburn as 15-point chalks. The nine game payoff streak, and 12-1 ATS run ended with a 79-92 loss at Alabama as 1-point chalks. Incredibly enough, however, the Vols got their second win of the season over the eventual national champion Florida Gators as they scored a 76-72 triumph at Florida as 7-point dogs for the high point of the season.
Out of hiding and out of value
Tennessee had emerged as one of the hottest teams in college basketball on the court and at the sportsbook and they were no longer a secret as more gamblers flocked towards them.
Starting with a 69-73 loss at Arkansas as 4.5-point chalks the Volunteers would prove to be out of hiding and out of value as they finished 2-4 SU & 1-5 ATS after losing in the 2nd round of the NCAA tourney.