Baylor-Vanderbilt Betting Guide: Will Underrated Offenses Rule 2018 Texas Bowl?

Dec 27, 2018 6:00 PM EST
Credit:

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyle Shurmur and Charlie Brewer

2018 Texas Bowl Betting Odds: Baylor-Vanderbilt

  • Odds: Vanderbilt -4
  • Over/Under: 55.5
  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 27
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of Wednesday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time bowl odds and win probabilities on your bets.


Baylor and Vanderbilt both became bowl eligible in the final week of the season and are looking for their first postseason victories under their respective coaches.

Both teams have above average quarterbacks and defensive flaws. But which should you back on Wednesday night?

Odds Movement for Texas Bowl

By Danny Donahue

After opening at -6, Vanderbilt is down to just a 4-point favorite across the market. That’s not due to a public backing of the dog, either. Baylor has attracted only 30% of bettors, but has seemingly been on the sharper side as evidenced by the 45% of money it has received (see live betting data here).

This game also features the most popular over of bowl season, drawing 93% of bets. Despite that, the total still sits around its opening number of 55 at a number of sportsbooks.

Trends to Know for Baylor-Vanderbilt

By John Ewing

Vandy and Baylor finished the season with identical 6-6 records. When two teams with .500 or worse records meet in a bowl game the favorite has gone 13-7 ATS since 2005.

By Evan Abrams

Since 2005, the SEC is the most profitable conference against the spread in bowl games at 74-53-1 ATS (58.3%). In that span, the SEC’s most profitable opponent is the Big 12, going 19-8 ATS (70.4%). The SEC and Big 12 face off four times this bowl season:

  • Baylor/Vanderbilt
  • Oklahoma/Alabama
  • Oklahoma State/Missouri
  • Texas/Georgia

Who’s More Motivated?

By Stuckey

We should get two extremely motivated teams, as both teams got here in similar fashion.

Baylor pulled off an upset in its regular season finale over Texas Tech in order to get to six wins. Vanderbilt did the same thing against Tennessee.

Neither team played in a bowl last season. And while Vanderbilt should be fired up to get its first winning season and bowl victory under Derek Mason, the same can be said for Baylor, which is looking to win a bowl just one season after going 1-11, which would be a remarkable achievement.

Vandy’s Offense Is Better Than You Think

By Steve Petrella

Vanderbilt’s offense ranks 45th in S&P+ and 46th in yards per play. The Commodores are balanced, ranking top 50th in both passing and rushing offense.

Against good defenses, Vandy really struggled.

  • at Notre Dame: 17 points
  • South Carolina: 14
  • at Georgia: 13
  • at Kentucky: 7

But against everyone else, the ‘Dores were much better. They scored at least 27 points in every game and averaged at least 6.0 yards per play in all but one. I expect Vandy to move the ball and score against a Baylor defense that ranks 90th in S&P+, though it did improve late in the season.

Two Bad Third-Down Defenses

By Stuckey

Vanderbilt’s defense ranks 118th in third down conversions (46.1%). Baylor is 104th at 43.3%. However, But Baylor is more likely to take advantage.

The Bears offense is actually tied with Washington State and Clemson at 43.8%, which ranks in the top 30th nationally. Meanwhile, Vandy’s offense has struggled converting third downs all season, ranking 107th (35.3%). In a game that should be close, Baylor should keep the sticks moving with much greater efficiency.

Bad in the Red Zone

By Stuckey

Baylor had one of the worst red zone defenses in the entire country, as teams scored at over a 90% clip inside the 20. However, I’m not sure Vandy can exploit this clear weakness.

This game will feature two of the worst red zone offenses in the entire country. Baylor only scored on 75.5% of its red zone trips, while Vanderbilt was even worse at 74.5%. Both those rank in the bottom 10 in college football.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson