College Football Picks: Mississippi vs. Vanderbilt

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 8:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 8:37 PM UTC

The Vanderbilt Commodores will open up their season against a conference opponent for a second consecutive season, as they prepare to host the Mississippi Rebels in a primetime contest.
<p style="text-align:center"></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Let’s take a closer look at the <a href="/betting-odds/college-football/" title="Live College Football Odds &amp; Betting Lines" target="_blank">college football odds</a> for this Southeastern Conference matchup at Vanderbilt Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 29, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 9:15 p.m. ET.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Program on the rise</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>Mississippi is seen as a program on the rise by many across college football, as it compiled a 7-6 straight up (SU) and 10-3 against-the-spread (ATS) record in 2012, while offering no edge in terms of the betting total (6-6-1 Over/Under).</p> <p>The Rebels are expected to welcome back 19 starters—nine on offense and 10 on the defensive end.</p> <p>Second-year head coach Hugh Freeze made national headlines by securing the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class, which has people in Oxford excited for what’s potentially ahead.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><b>Building blocks</b></p> <p>Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has people excited about football in Nashville, as he delivered a 9-4 SUATS record a season ago, which included a 38-24 win over the NC State Wolf Pack in the Music City Bowl.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>The Commodores are expected to bring back seven starters on offense and six defensively, but will have a competition under center leading up to the season opener.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><b>Attacking defense</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><a href="" title="Share your thoughts with fellow bettors in our College Football Handicapping Forum" target="_blank">College football handicappers</a> have grown accustomed to the SEC putting together some strong defensive units, which certainly seems to be the case at Mississippi, with the squad leading the conference and ranking fourth nationally in averaging 7.9 tackles for loss in 2012.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>The Commodores bring back three starters on the offensive line and the group has 73 combined starts—something to keep in mind when forming your <a href="/" title="Free Picks &amp; Sports Betting Predictions" target="_blank">sports picks</a> this affair.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><b>Season-opening spotlight</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>It’s important to point out that Vanderbilt has been in this situation before, as it suffered a disappointing 17-13 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks as 6.5-point home underdogs in last year’s season opener.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>Mississippi will receive the majority of coverage by the national media in this matchup, but it hasn’t kicked off a schedule versus a conference foe since 2003, which is far different than lining up against Central Arkansas like it did a season ago.</p> <p><b>Prediction</b><span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>I’m going to recommend that readers back the Commodores as one of their Week 1 <a href="/college-football/" title="College Football Picks &amp; Betting Predictions" target="_blank">college football picks</a>, but I wouldn’t get too involved until their quarterback situation is sorted out, as I expected Austyn Carta-Samuels to earn the nod.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p><strong>College Football Picks: </strong> Vanderbilt Commodores -2.5</p>
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