2* Vanderbilt +4 over Wake Forest – On the year we are 3-1 when backing Vanderbilt. There were two other instaNCes we considered backing them. One was last week against the Vols, which as it turns out, was a good thing we stayed away. The other was the Kentucky Game, which we would have won. They are a team we have taken an interest in because of their style of play and because of their reputation over the years, not great, which still provides us with some line value when backing them. Ironically this week, they face one of Our other favorite teams to back over the last few years, Wake Forest. Both of these teams are nothing faNCy.
If ever there was a good spot to back Vandy, it’s when they are facing a team with an equally inept offense. Both of these squads rank towards the bottom of all college football teams as far as total offense. In Vandy’s case, they have scored 14 points or less in 6 of their last 7 Games. In that stretch they are also 2-5 straight up. Not too good. Wake Forest had it’s own 5 Game stretch where it wasn’t putting points on the board and last week against BC it was the defense that kept them in it and almost pulled it out. So both teams have struggled offensively while each has also shown the ability to scoresome points. Anyone who watched Vandy beat Kentucky, at Kentucky, certainly didn’t get the impression you were watching an offensively challenged team. There were also a couple of 3 and 4 point losses in that 2-5 stretch. Point being, even in the losing efforts, they kept it close.
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Last week you’d have to assume, was a letdown week for Vandy. Having finally gotten the monkey off their backs and cliNChed a bowl birth for the first time in 25 years, they simply didn’t show up to play. There was no sense of urgeNCy. The team was flat. It’s one thing to not show up for a Game. It’s yet another to lose a heartbreaker like Wake Forest did last week to BC. You also have to take into ACCount that whatever happens from here on in for Wake, the season will have been a huge disappointment. This is a team that was best in the ACC early in the year and a team that’s had some great years the last few years. On the flip side, no matter what happens from here on in, this year will have been a giant step forward for Vanderbilt. A good year no matter what the outcome this week and in their bowl Game.
This Game boils down to a “Bowl enhaNCement Game”. The winner will finish the year at 7-5 and will get a slightly better bowl Game than the loser, plus a chance to finish the year 8-5 overall. (Wake may actually not go bowling with a loss here) We simply feel Vandy is the more likely of the two to ACComplish that. This is their chance to finish. To come so far as a program this year, and not take advantage of this opportunity would be a shame. At the very least, expect one of their strongest efforts of the year Saturday Night.
Wake Forest is banged up big time at this point. Their offensive line is patched together which has resulted in this teams running Game really struggling. With the way both teams have played offensively, and the way both defenses have stepped up to the plate, combined with all that’s on the line for these two teams this week, we’d expect a nail biter of a Game that’s decided late in the 4th quarter. Getting +4 in this situation is too much to pass up. Both teams make the most of their opportunities. Wake Forest is #4 in the Nation in turnover margin but Vandy not far behind at #24. Not too shabby when we’re talking about 119 football teams. As a result both teams often end up with decent field position which also explains their decent yards per point numbers.