Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt Betting Odds & Picks: Expect Rebels to Win Big
Via Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Ole’ Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) in action during the college football game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Ole’ Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, MS.
- The Ole Miss Rebels hit the road to Nashville on Saturday to go head-to-head with the Vanderbilt Commodores in SEC play.
- The Rebels enter as three-possession favorites, and that's where we see betting value.
- Check out Dan Keegan's full betting preview and pick for Saturday's SEC showdown below.
Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt Odds
Clark Lea’s second season at the helm of the Commodores started strong, but SEC play opened with a 55-3 loss to Alabama, portraying more of the same in league games for Vanderbilt.
This a long rebuild, but Vanderbilt has shown some signs of competent football.
Ole Miss dealt with an incredible amount of turnover — both on its roster and in the coaching ranks — heading into the 2022 season. The schedule broke favorably for the Rebels, and they’re 5-0 with a few more tune-ups before ending the season with the SEC West gauntlet.
This looks like a potential blowout — with Lane Kiffin's Rebels playing like one of the best teams in the country — but will Ole Miss cover such a large spread on the road?
The transfer portal and quarterback competition were the story of Ole Miss’ offseason. Kiffin rebuilt his roster with veterans, and Jaxson Dart eventually won the QB1 job after a long battle.
But the story of the season has been the rushing attack. Zach Evans (the TCU transfer) and Quinshon Judkins (a true freshman) are the best one-two running back duo in the country.
Judkins leads the team with 535 yards, 6.3 yards per carry and six touchdowns. Evans is right behind him with 389 yards at 5.7 per tote and five touchdowns.
Together, they power an offense that is 19th in Rushing Success Rate and 22nd in Rushing Explosiveness.
The emergence of this elite running attack has been critical to make up for a passing game that's still looking to find its footing. Dart, the USC transfer, leads an offense that is only 76th in Effective Passing, per Beta_Rank.
Like the rushing attack, the defense has been strong. The Rebels excel at keeping opponents out of the end zone (eighth in Finishing Drives), as well as taking the ball away (fourth in Defensive Havoc).
Vanderbilt’s switch to a pass-friendly offense is poorly timed, as Ole Miss ranks ninth in PFF’s Pass Rush Grade and 10th in Coverage Grade.
Vanderbilt gained some early-season attention with a dynamic running attack led by quarterback Mike Wright. The Commodores showed some competency in early season wins over Hawaii, Elon and Northern Illinois, although they have been blown out by Wake Forest and Alabama.
Consequently, Vanderbilt team win total backers are happy because over 2.5 wins tickets have already cashed.
Wright was benched during the Wake Forest game despite his gaudy rushing totals — he is still second on the team in rushing yards. However, he was careless with the ball, and the keys to the car have been turned over to freshman AJ Swann.
Swann is a far more capable passer than Wright and has a 58% completion percentage, 567 yards passing and six touchdowns to zero interceptions, despite one of his two starts coming against the Alabama defense.
He is a freshman, though, and he has made three Turnover Worthy Plays according to PFF, although defenses have yet to actually take the ball from him.
It’s tough to get a sense of the true nature of the Vanderbilt offense with the midseason switch from a rush-first quarterback to a pass-first one.
Swann performed well against Northern Illinois (126th in Defensive SP+), but was absolutely stoned by Alabama (second in Defensive SP+). Ole Miss' defense (16th in Defensive SP+) is closer to the latter than the former.
On the other side of the ball, the Commodores' defense is struggling in 2022. Again, this is a complete rebuild, so no one except maybe Lea expects Vanderbilt to be great yet.
The Vandy defense is equally susceptible to Explosiveness (83rd) as allowing Successful Plays (100th), and doesn’t create much Havoc, either (111th).
One number in particular stood out to me: Vanderbilt's defense is 110th in Points, per ECKEL Allowed, Parker Fleming’s stat that measures how efficiently teams score on quality possessions.
This Vanderbilt defense will bend and break.
Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Ole Miss and Vanderbilt match up statistically:
Ole Miss Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Vanderbilt Offense vs. Ole Miss Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||11||22|
|Seconds per Play||20.7 (3)||27.8 (93)|
|Rush Rate||63.7% (14)||56.2% (48)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt Betting Pick
Backing Kiffin as a big favorite has not been profitable — he is 0-5 career ATS in games when his team is favored by 18 or more, which is where this spread opened.
I'm sending thanks to Stuckey for that nugget earlier in the week.
However, I am comfortable laying the points here because Ole Miss' stout defense should shut down the new Vanderbilt passing offense, and the Ole Miss rushing attack should lean on the Vandy defense all day.
Judkins and Evans should move the ball with ease, and the Rebels will convert their drives in Commodores territory into touchdowns. Converting opportunities into sevens and not threes is key to covering a big number.
I look at the Ole Miss Week 3 win over Georgia Tech as the blueprint — a 42-0 win with 316 yards on the ground and only 16 passing attempts.
I’ll take Ole Miss and lay the points. It’s -16.5 at FanDuel, and I’ll play it to 18.
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