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College Football Odds & Picks For Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State: Betting Value on the Spread

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Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Osirus Mitchell and Keith Mixon.

  • The Vanderbilt Commodores will travel to Starkville on Saturday to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an SEC matchup.
  • With Derek Mason's squad struggling and ranking toward the bottom of the SEC statistical rankings, Vandy may actually be able to keep up with Mike Leach and the Bulldogs.
  • Check out Patrick Strollo's betting analysis and pick below.

Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State Odds

Vanderbilt Odds +18.5 [BET NOW]
Mississippi State Odds -18.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +650/-1115 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 45.5 [BET NOW]
Time 4 p.m. ET
TV SEC Network
Odds as of Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Vanderbilt is on the road for only the second time this season, looking to secure its first victory of the season over Mississippi State after a blowout loss to Ole Miss last weekend in Nashville. Mississippi State is equally frantic for a win after recently being shut out by Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

This will be the 23rd meeting between the two programs, but it’s the first since 2014. Mississippi State leads the all-time series, 13-7-2. Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are 1-3 and 1-4, respectively, against the spread this season.

Vanderbilt appears to have recovered from its early-season COVID-19 issues but it will be without starting safety and kick returner Donovan Kaufman, who is out for the season.

Mississippi State’s starting quarterback, K.J. Costello, was knocked out of last week’s game with a concussion and is listed as questionable for this cross-division SEC matchup.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt offense is coming off of its most productive game of the season after putting up 21 points in a losing effort against the cavernous Ole Miss defense. True freshman quarterback Ken Seals posted his best performance of the season, going 31-for-40 for 319 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

The Commodores running back stable rushed for 107 yards and one touchdown. Vanderbilt is currently 91st in FBS total offense, averaging 300 yards per game and 4.41 yards per play. Vanderbilt has an offensive Predicted Points Added (PPA) per play of -0.06, which puts it in last place in the SEC and well below the conference’s average of 0.18.

The Vanderbilt offense is allowing a Havoc rate of 0.30, which is also last in the SEC and above the average of 0.17.

Seals has seen a lot of pressure all season, and this is translating to reduced scoring opportunities.

The Vanderbilt defense has had a tough season so far, giving up 153 total points through four games. Last weekend, the Commodores gave up eight touchdowns — seven passing and one rushing — against an excellent Ole Miss offense.

They are ranked 97th in FBS total defense, allowing 499 yards per game while giving up 7.5 yards per play. The defense is allowing 0.33 Predicted Points Added per play, good for second-to-last in the SEC.

A bright spot for the Commodores has been their Havoc rating, which sits at 0.19.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

It’s hard to believe that Mississippi State was shutout last week given Mike Leach’s penchant for the Air Raid offense. In the last three games, the Bulldogs have scored only 16 points. They have to make changes offensively, especially since their season-opening win over LSU is a distant memory.

The offense is clearly in rebuilding mode. The Bulldogs rank 82nd in FBS total offense with 357.6 yards per game. They are averaging 4.7 yards per play and hold an offensive PPA per play of -0.05, which is the second-worst mark in the SEC to Vanderbilt. The offense allows Havoc at a 23% rate, which puts it in second-to-last place — once again in front of only Vanderbilt.

The Mississippi State defense has been a bright spot this year. The Bulldogs sit 21st in FBS total defense, giving up only 331 yards per game. They were blown out by Alabama, but prior to that, they held their three previous opponents to under 30 points each.

The defensive PPA per play sits at 0.06, which is third-best in the SEC and below the conference average of 0.18. The Bulldogs hold a Havoc rate of 0.14 defensively, while the conference average remains at 0.17.


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Betting Analysis & Pick

Vanderbilt and Mississippi State head into this matchup as the two worst teams in the SEC. They will pit their lethargic offenses against one another as both programs seek a much-needed win. Each team has been handily beaten by the team in second-to-last place in their respective divisions.

Vanderbilt showed signs of promise after putting up 21 points last week, while Mississippi State has only scored one touchdown in the last three games. Neither of these teams generates a lot of offense, and Mississippi State is only slightly better than Vanderbilt because of its defense. Vanderbilt is finally returning to full strength after fighting off COVID-19 infections for a number of weeks. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason could also be coaching for his job at this point in the season.

My model has Vanderbilt as 11-point underdogs heading into this game and the total sits firmly at 46. Based on the stats and recent trends, it’s hard to see Mississippi State running away with this one. Take the points here as Vanderbilt looks to put up a fight in Starkville. Additionally, I think a live bet on the over is a good way to add action on the game if the total drops to 40 points early.

Pick: Vanderbilt +19 (down to +16.5)

[Bet Vanderbilt at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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