College Football Picks: UAB Blazers vs. Vanderbilt

Joe Freda

Friday, September 27, 2013 5:50 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 5:50 PM UTC

The UAB Blazers notched their first win in last week’s 52-28 triumph over the Northwestern State Demons, collecting as a 20-point home favorite. Now they will face a tough Vanderbilt team.

Saturday’s NCAAF betting has Garrick McGee’s squad stepping up in class with a visit to the Vanderbilt Commodores. 

Blazers, Brown win shootout 

Blazers running back Darrin Reaves dashed for a season-high 178 yards on 17 carries in his side’s win, reaching the end zone twice. Reaves’ mate Jordan Howard added 66 yards on the ground, taking in his first score of the season.

UAB’s Austin Brown connected 10-of-20 passes under center, including a 41-yard touchdown strike to Jamarcus Nelson. Blazers tight end Kennard Backman finished with a team-high five catches, logging 62 receiving yards.

The Blazers’ defense allowed 344 total yards, with 150 coming on the ground (3.8 YPR). Blazers cornerback Jimmy Jean snagged an interception, while the lopsided affair’s combined 80 points soared OVER the ‘total’ of 64 ½.

Vandy holds off U-Mass

Vanderbilt finished with 17 unanswered points in last Saturday’s 24-7 victory over the Massachusetts Minutemen, failing short of collecting as a 29-point road favorite. The Commodores converted 8-of-13 third downs, moving the ball for 406 total yards.

Commodores quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels threw two touchdowns, while rushing for 38 yards on nine keepers. Vanderbilt’s Wesley Tate and Jerron Seymour united for 120 yards on the ground, with Seymour taking in one score. 

Carta-Samuels found wide out tandem Jonathan Krause and Jordan Matthews for a combined 14 receptions, totaling 181 yards between the duo. The contest’s combined 31 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 54 ½, moving the UNDER to 2-1 in Vanderbilt’s last three games.

Back Vandy as home ‘chalk’ 

Bet365 opened Vanderbilt as a 20-point home favorite on its NCAAF odds board, while first listing the ‘total’ at 55 ½. Early betting action on UAB and the UNDER moved the numbers south to 19 ½ and 55, respectively.

I am laying the big premium in this matchup, backing Vanderbilt as part of Saturday’s sports picks. 

Vanderbilt has seen its octane drop in the last two weeks, but the team’s defense has held serve giving up just 21 PPG. The Commodores have cashed at 7-0 ATS in their last seven spots that followed a victory, while going 6-2 ATS in their most recent eight home dates against a rival with a losing road record. 

UAB ran up its numbers last week against Northwestern State, but is in for a taller order as a large dog here. The Blazers were buried early on Sept. 7 in a 56-17 defeat as 34 ½-point road dogs against the LSU Tigers, giving up eight touchdowns over the first three quarters. 

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Vanderbilt has collected with a 5-0 spread record in the team’s last five matchups that came after a game of allowing less than 20 points, while going 4-1 ATS in its most recent five duels against Conference USA foes. Look for the Commodores to pull away here, adding a losing ticket to UAB’s 2-6 spread mark in its last eight spots that followed a victory.

Free Pick: Vanderbilt Commodores -19 ½ at Bet365
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