Vanderbilt vs. Missouri Odds & Picks: Consider Betting the Winless Commodores on the Moneyline
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images. Pictured: Ken Seals.
- The Vanderbilt Commodores will hit the road to Columbia on Saturday to take on the Missouri Tigers in an SEC matchup.
- Will Connor Bazelak and Company be able to keep the Commodores from picking up their first win?
- Patrick Strollo discusses where the betting value lies below.
Vanderbilt vs. Missouri Odds
|Vanderbilt Odds||+14 (-105) [BET NOW]|
|Missouri Odds||-14 (-115) [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+430 / -600 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||51 [BET NOW]|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
On short notice, the Vanderbilt Commodores (0-7) will travel to Columbia, Missouri, to face the Missouri Tigers (3-3). The game was scheduled on Monday night after Missouri’s bout against Arkansas was postponed due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
The SEC postponed the Vanderbilt-Tennessee rivalry game to help facilitate 10 regular-season games for all 14 teams.
This will be the 13th meeting between the now-SEC East foes, with Missouri leading the all-time series, 7-4-1. Last year, Vanderbilt defeated the 22nd-ranked Tigers in Nashville, 21-14.
Vanderbilt is coming off of a 38-17 loss to Florida in Nashville. Mizzou comes into the game as holders of the Mayor’s Cup after knocking off South Carolina in the other Columbia last Saturday, 17-10.
Vanderbilt is 4-3 against the spread this season (ATS) and has covered three games in a row. Missouri is 4-2 ATS and coming off a cover last week against South Carolina. Vanderbilt has hit the over three times, while Missouri has gone over twice.
Vanderbilt will look to ride true freshman quarterback Ken Seals’ recent success as he settles into the SEC. Seals has been assisted by senior wide receiver Chris Pierce Jr., who has snagged a touchdown in four consecutive games, and junior Cam Johnson, who is leading all FBS players in receptions since Oct. 25.
Mizzou will look to leverage its offense behind senior running back Larry Rountree III and redshirt freshman QB Connor Bazelak. The resolute Mizzou defense will look to have another strong performance this week against the peaking Vanderbilt offense.
The Vanderbilt offense has been awakened. Well, at least from a very slow start to the season.
The Commodores have averaged 22.5 points per game in their last four games, which is up considerably from the 8.6 points per game Vandy averaged in its first three contests.
The Commodores rank 102nd in FBS in total offense, averaging 346 yards per game. Vandy has a Predicted Points Added (PPA) per play of 0.07 relative to a conference average of 0.19. It allows offensive Havoc on 21.3% of plays, which is the worst in the SEC.
The Commodores have been increasingly comfortable throwing the ball as the season has gone on. They have scored 15 touchdowns, with 11 of those coming through the air. Look for Seals to continue building rapport with Pierce and Johnson this weekend as the offense continues to evolve.
The Vanderbilt defense is ranked 88th in FBS total defense, giving up an average of 443 yards per game. The Commodores are allowing opponents to score an average of 36 points per game. The defensive PPA per play is 0.34, which is second-worst in the SEC and above the conference average of 0.20.
The Commodores generate Havoc on 16% percent of plays, which is in line with the SEC average. The defense has given up 33 touchdowns through seven games — 19 passing and 14 rushing. The defense has proven to be exploitable on the ground and through the air.
The Tigers are averaging 21.6 points per game and have scored 15 touchdowns this season. They rank 73rd in total offense with an average of 384 yards per game. The offense has a PPA per play of 0.11, which is below the conference average of 0.19. They are allowing Havoc on 15.4% of plays — slightly better than the conference average and should be good enough afford Bazelak time to let plays develop.
The Tigers will look to use their balanced offensive attack against one of the weaker defenses in the SEC. Rountree should be able to find early success against the Vandy run defense.
The Tiger defense is allowing 394.8 yards per game, which is 55th in the country. The Tigers are allowing 29.17 points per game and hold a PPA per play of 0.22, which is slightly above the SEC average of 0.20.
Missouri generates Havoc on 16% of plays. The Tiger passing defense will be tested by a budding quarterback who will look to get started through the air early. The Tiger defense will hope to force Vandy to the run game, where it hasn’t found as much success.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This is an interesting matchup that pits two freshman QBs against each other on a compressed schedule. Both teams are below average based on offensive and defensive PPA. Vanderbilt has improved in recent weeks and is in desperate search of its first win of the season, while Mizzou looks to climb above .500 for the first time this season.
I think this matchup is closer than the line suggests.
My model has three pretty strong options for this game. I am going to lay them all out here because it’s not often I can recommend two statistically significant plays for a game and an underdog ML pick.
First, the spread is too big here, and backing Vandy at +14.5 is my favorite play. My model has Mizzou as 7.8-point favorites, so you are getting a whole touchdown of value, according to my numbers.
Secondly, if you’re not intrigued by the line, I think there’s value on the over. Both of these defenses are… not good. Both freshman quarterbacks are pretty efficient and have reasonable Passing Success Rates as they get settled into their respective offenses. My model has the total right around 59 points, which is 7.5 points above the current over/under.
Lastly, I think there’s a reason to sprinkle the Vanderbilt moneyline. Bear with me here: this Vandy team is improving. I think it’s important to look at its body of work after the early season COVID-19 issues. This team is getting better, and it’s hanging in games. Also, Seals is settling into his role as a starting QB in the SEC.
Jumping into SEC football as a true freshman is a very steep learning curve, and things are starting to click. Most importantly, this is the last reasonable chance for a win this season, and I think it’s doable against a mediocre Mizzou team.
Picks: Vanderbilt +14.5 (down to +14) | Over 51.5 (up to 52.5) | Vanderbilt ML +490 (+475 or better)