College Football Odds & Pick for Vanderbilt vs. Colorado State: Bet Commodores to Cover (September 11)

College Football Odds & Pick for Vanderbilt vs. Colorado State: Bet Commodores to Cover (September 11) article feature image

Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ken Seals.

  • Vanderbilt and Colorado State hit the gridiron Saturday night for some Week 2 college football action
  • The Commodores enter as underdogs once again, but there may be value on them in this game.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the game below and explains his pick.

College Football Week 2 Odds

Saturday, Sept. 11
10 p.m. ET
Vanderbilt Odds
-105o / -115u
Colorado State Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Two FBS teams that lost to teams in the FCS will meet on Saturday night in Fort Collins, as Colorado State hosts Vanderbilt.

The Commodores managed three points in a buy game at home against East Tennessee State, a 23-3 defeat in the opening week.

The Rams played a much better and highly-regarded FCS team in South Dakota State but still at home 42-23. The Rams get an extra day to prepare for the Commodores, having played on Friday, and are seven-point home favorites with a total at 51 points.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt played an SEC-only schedule in 2020 and didn't win a game. The Commodores finished 0-9 and lost six of those nine games by at least 20 points.

They hired longtime Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea to rebuild the program and try to be competitive, but the first result was not at all  positive. This game, along with UConn in a few weeks, might be their best shot at a win all season.

Commodores Offense

It's hard to glean much positive offensive performance from a game that the Commodores scored three points against an FCS team, but they were hampered by three turnovers.

Quarterback Ken Seals averaged 5.6 yards per attempt and had two turnovers. They ran for just 85 yards on 31 plays and only managed one play of more than 20 yards the entire game.

Seals also lost a fumble before being replaced at the end of the game by backup QB Mike Wright. Seals led all true freshmen in the nation in passing yards last season, and Wright could open up the potential for some red-zone packages to help them turn yards and drives into more points.

Commodores Defense

The Commodores defense is expected to take steps forward under Lea, given how strong his Notre Dame defenses often were. It's not clear how long it will take to improve though.

Vanderbilt held ETSU quarterback Tyler Riddell to 6.1 yards per attempt but was gashed in the run game.

Vanderbilt had some issues last year with Rushing Success Rate, Line Yards and Stuff Rate, but none of those are areas of strength for the Rams offense to exploit on Saturday night.

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Colorado State Rams

Colorado State finished the 2020 season 1-3 with three double-digit losses to Fresno State, San Diego State and Boise State. It managed a 10-point win against Wyoming and had multiple COVID-19 cancelations.

The Rams defensive metrics are a bit of a facade, given that they just allowed 42 points to South Dakota State. The market has taken a lot of CSU money since it opened -1.

Rams Offense

The Rams offense was much better than their 23 points suggest in the first game, but they really lacked explosiveness. They took multiple deep shots but failed to connect on big passing plays over the top of the South Dakota State defense.

Vanderbilt's defense was solid at preventing big plays through the air and ground in 2020 against most teams it played outside of the nation's elite, so it should be able to keep this Rams offense in front of them.

Rams Defense

Colorado State's defense ranked top five nationally in Havoc, ninth in Rushing Success Rate and first in Line Yards.

But it didn't really face any quality offenses except for Boise State, who totaled 52 points on the Rams. They were gashed in their opening game against South Dakota State through the air and on the ground, which suggests Vanderbilt may also be able to move the ball.

Vanderbilt vs. Colorado State Matchup Analysis

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

Vanderbilt Offense vs. Colorado State Defense




Rushing Success1179
Passing Success8360
Line Yards901
Sack Rate682
Finishing Drives12195

Colorado State Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense




Rushing Success123118
Passing Success115127
Line Yards126108
Sack Rate75109
Finishing Drives9287

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling11034
Rush Rate41.3% (108)44.9% (100)
Seconds per Play5812

Data via College Football Data (CFBD) and FootballOutsiders; SP+ projection per ESPN.

Vanderbilt vs. Colorado State Betting Pick

Colorado State's defense had excellent metrics throughout most of 2020, but the Rams only played four games against Mountain West teams. If you look at their performance last week, it suggests that maybe we shouldn't read too much into those 2020 numbers.

For that reason, I'm expecting Vanderbilt to have a bounce-back offensive performance, and the line has moved too far from the -1 Circa opening line to the current seven-point spread.

I'll buy low on the Commodores and expect a bounce back from Seals as Lea looks for his first win and cover in charge at Vanderbilt.

Pick: Vanderbilt +7

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