Missouri vs Vanderbilt Odds & Prediction: Commodores Can Keep It Close

Missouri vs Vanderbilt Odds & Prediction: Commodores Can Keep It Close article feature image

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Missouri’s Brady Cook.

Missouri vs Vanderbilt Odds

Saturday, Sept. 30
4 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Missouri Odds
-105o / -115u
Vanderbilt Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Let's head to Nashville, where the Missouri Tigers (4-0) will look to remain undefeated when they visit the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-3).

The Tigers narrowly escaped last weekend's matchup against Memphis, whereas Vandy continues to sink after getting clobbered by Kentucky.

Both teams are trending in opposite directions, so these are the types of spots I love targeting on a full slate of games. Let's break down this matchup and uncover some betting value.

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Missouri Tigers

On paper, this is a matchup the Tigers should dominate. I have a good feeling that the majority of casual bettors will have the Tigers in their big moneyline parlays.

Please do not fall into this trap. Although the Tigers completely outclass the 'Dores in talent, this is an extremely sleepy spot.

Missouri's defensive front has been extremely stingy this season, ranking fifth nationally in both Rush Success and Line Yards. However, the 'Dores do not run the ball very often, so this may not come into effect.

In terms of getting after the quarterback, the Tigers are about the middle of the road in Havoc. If the pass rush has a rough day, I could see Vandy picking on this secondary a bit, even with quarterback A.J. Swann's status (questionable with elbow contusion) up in the air.

Theoretically, Missouri's offense should have no issues against Vandy's defense. QB Brady Cook played last week despite being a game-time decision. Another week to get healthy should help him, and I think he'll be set up to have a nice afternoon.

If you haven't watched many Tigers games this year, wide receiver Luther Burden III is appointment television. Despite his small size, he has completely dominated, already racking up 504 yards receiving.

Burden alone can dismantle Vandy's secondary, and he's primed for a big day with the 'Dores ranking 88th in Defensive Pass Success Rate.

I expect the Tigers to score a fair amount of points in this matchup.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

If Swann doesn't play, I think this line will continue to balloon. However, Ken Seals isn't a significant downgrade.

Swann has some decent arm talent, but his stats this season have been less than impressive. His 53% completion percentage is pretty uninspiring, and he has also thrown seven interceptions.

The game was already out of reach, but Seals did look good in limited action last week against Kentucky. For the season, he has gone 7-of-11 for 96 yards and two touchdowns in replacing Swann. Head coach Clark Lea said in his weekly news conference that Swann would most likely be a game-time decision.

I'm going to assume Swann tries to give it a go, but elbow strains can be a tricky injury. Regardless, I think the 'Dores can have some success against an iffy Missouri secondary.

The Tigers rank 79th in Pass Success Rate, and considering the 'Dores are essentially one-dimensional, I think this will play in their favor. Vandy also does a terrific job in Finishing Drives, ranking 39th in the nation.

Every casual bettor will look at this matchup and assume the 'Dores are going to get boat-raced, but their underrated ability to stop the run tells me otherwise. I think we'll see a valiant effort from their defensive line, and if Cook has to rely on throwing the majority of the game, I will happily take my chances.

Missouri vs Vanderbilt

Matchup Analysis

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

Missouri Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense
Rush Success3565
Line Yards9176
Pass Success3488
Finishing Drives3042
Quality Drives61105
Vanderbilt Offense vs. Missouri Defense
Rush Success595
Line Yards875
Pass Success8279
Finishing Drives39113
Quality Drives6667
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling4552
PFF Coverage7666
Special Teams SP+9212
Middle 81175
Seconds per Play26.8 (67)25.5 (41)
Rush Rate58.6% (39)44.7% (115)

Missouri vs Vanderbilt

Betting Pick & Prediction

I have to take at least one garbage pick per week to keep the people happy, so we're riding with Vandy +13.5 in this spot. This is the top of the market for Missouri, and quite frankly, I think it's going to walk into this game and expect to blow out Vandy.

There's no love for the 'Dores by the public, and every casual will see that their starting QB is hurt. However, Seals isn't much of a downgrade from Swann, and he could even be slightly better.

Nobody wants to bet on Vandy right now, and rightfully so. The 'Dores are 1-4 against the spread this season, but I think they are very live for a cover here.

Their offense will find success against a suspect Tigers secondary, and their sneaky defensive trench could eliminate Missouri's ground attack. Wait, Cook relying on his arm? Bartender, make it a double.

Pick: Vanderbilt +14 (Play to +13)
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