College Football Odds & Pick for Vanderbilt vs. Colorado State: Bet Commodores to Cover (September 11)
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
-105o / -115u
|Colorado State Odds|
-105o / -115u
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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Vanderbilt Offense vs. Colorado State Defense
Colorado State Offense vs. Vanderbilt Defense
Pace of Play / Other
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.