College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for UConn vs. Vanderbilt: How To Bet This ‘Toilet Bowl’

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for UConn vs. Vanderbilt: How To Bet This ‘Toilet Bowl’ article feature image
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  • UConn and Vanderbilt are two of the worst teams in the country, and they go head-to-head in Nashville.
  • Freshman quarterback Tyler Phommachanh will be making his third-career start for the Huskies.
  • Stuckey breaks down the matchup and provides his best bet.

UConn vs. Vanderbilt Odds

UConn Odds +14.5 (-115)
Vanderbilt Odds -14.5 (-105)
Moneyline +475 / -675
Over/Under 51 (-115 / -105)
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

A primetime matchup between UConn and Vanderbilt? What a treat!

Vanderbilt comes into this toilet bowl with a record of 1-3 with its sole victory coming on the road against Colorado State in a game it got severely outplayed in.

Its three losses all came at home in ugly fashion, including a 23-3 season-opening loss at the hands of FCS East Tennessee State and most recently, a 62-0 beatdown at the hand of Georgia in a game the Commodores finished with just 77 total yards.

Hey, they did at least gain more yards than the Chicago Bears did last Sunday!

New head coach Clark Lea knew he was inheriting a program in rough shape and it might take longer to rebuild the ‘Dores to respectability than even he expected.

That’s assuming it’s even possible at this point.

Vanderbilt will host one of the few programs in the country that finds itself in even worse shape in UConn.

The Huskies, who canceled their entire season in 2020, come in at 0-5 on the season.

Since the start of the 2018 season, they are 3-26 with their only wins coming against UMass and two FCS schools (Rhode Island, Wagner).


UConn vs. Vanderbilt Betting Preview

Saturday, October 2
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPNU

Connecticut Huskies

UConn’s Hidden Gem

UConn is already on its second coach and third quarterback of the season.

With Steven Krajewski and Jack Zergiotis not finding much success under center, the Huskies turned to true freshman Tyler Phommachanh, who got the start in each of the past two games against Army and Wyoming.

He did some nice things in the second half against Army (albeit against primarily backups in a blowout) and then, almost pulled off a massive upset last week against Wyoming in a game that came down to a late two-point conversion.

He still has work to do from a passing perspective, but the dual-threat signal-caller can create with his legs, which opens up the playbook a bit.

He’ll obviously have his struggles this year but appears to be the quarterback of the future in East Hartford.


Huskies Rolling With Youth Movement

UConn features one of the youngest rosters in the nation.

The depth chart is constantly changing for interim head coach Lou Spanos, who is trying to find the best mix from a very inexperienced pool of players.

Currently, the starting offense features a true freshman quarterback and an all-freshman skill position group, in addition to two along the offensive line.

The defense is a little more experienced up front and has actually held up well against traditional rushing attacks (excluding Army’s triple-option attack):

  • Wyoming had 45 carries for 203 yards (4.5)
  • Fresno ran it 38 times for 156 yards (4.1)
  • Purdue had 42 rushes for 187 yards (4.5)

However, UConn’s extremely raw and inexperienced secondary has struggled as expected, allowing 9.3 yards per carry (125th).

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Vanderbilt Commodores

Seals’ Sophomore Slump

Quarterback Ken Seals flashed plenty of potential in his freshman season but has so far taken a step back in his sophomore campaign.

His completion percentage has dropped from 65% to 53%, and he’s thrown only three touchdowns to four interceptions in 2021.

Yes, they played Georgia last week, but remember the Commodores played a nine-game schedule last year against only SEC teams in a year where the team was crushed by opt-outs and COVID absences.

QB Mike Wright has taken some snaps under center, but has graded out even worse as a passer. And while Wright does bring more of a running element to the position, Lea has stated he’s sticking with Seals as the starter against UConn.

If Seals can find his game, he does have a promising group of wide receivers that are probably the strength of the team. Chris Pierce Jr. has potential as a downfield threat, while Cam Johnson is a very talented slot receiver. And Will Sheppard isn’t a bad third option.

Seals hasn’t had much help from an offensive line that has had disastrous results in pass protection. Losing starting running back Re’Mahn Davis, who transferred in from Temple, certainly didn’t help matters either.

The offense is obviously still a major work in progress, similar to a defense transitioning to a new 4-2-5 scheme under Lea and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter.


Sandwich Spot for Commodores?

On the surface, this looks like a major sandwich spot for Vanderbilt. The Commodores will take on a winless UConn team at home (likely in front of a sparse crowd) in between games against Georgia and Florida.

Will Vanderbilt come out flat? I personally don’t think that’s a serious consideration here for a team that knows it has no realistic shot next week against the Gators. They need wins any way they can get them. I expect a fully focused effort at the bare minimum.


UConn vs. Vanderbilt Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UConn and Vanderbilt match up statistically:

UConn Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
118
108
Line Yards
109
124
Pass Success
128
101
Pass Blocking**
98
69
Big Play
131
109
Havoc
100
Finishing Drives
77
65
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Vanderbilt Offense vs. UConn Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
100
119
Line Yards
84
97
Pass Success
111
123
Pass Blocking**
116
97
Big Play
126
69
Havoc
20
Finishing Drives
100
122
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
50
100
PFF Coverage
128
106
Middle 8
129
119
SP+ Special Teams
124
84
Plays per Minute
39
20
Rush Rate
48.4% (103)
49.3% (99)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


It’s worth noting that both teams do prefer to play with some tempo. And as you’d expect, everything else just looks bad across the board.


UConn vs. Vanderbilt Betting Pick

Well, the pressure is on after writing up winners in UConn games the previous two weeks. Can I make it three straight in the toilet bowl?

Let’s hope, as I’d really prefer not to tune into this game while losing money.

I personally think this sets up for a Vanderbilt blowout. UConn did show some signs of life last week against Wyoming, but that came against a very vanilla rush-heavy offense that played right into the hands of the strength of UConn’s defense.

We should get a much better performance from Seals, who should have ample time to work in the pocket to find his talented receivers against a very raw and vulnerable secondary.

On the other side of the ball, I expect the defense to improve as the season goes on as it gets more comfortable in a new 4-2-5 scheme under the tutelage of a great defensive mind in Lea.

This is a great opportunity to take out some frustrations against a Huskies’ offense full of freshmen and void of explosiveness.

I’ll likely regret this, but I’m laying over two touchdowns with Vanderbilt football.

Make sure you order a double and not a single from the bartender before this one kicks if you end up dumpster diving with me.

We may need it, but I show a bit of value in this number, so I will gladly side with the much more talented roster that’s probably hungry for a blowout win after getting humiliated last week.

Pick: Vanderbilt -16 or better

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