College Football Pick
Tennessee had a shot of winning the SEC East until they didn’t. While the Vols sit with an 8-3 record, it’s still a disappointment after a 5-0 start with wins over Florida and Georgia. Next up is a sneaky Vanderbilt team coming off a big win over Ole Miss. On the road, the Volunteers were early -7.5 point favorites as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Even with only five wins at the moment, the Commodores may still make a bowl Game even with a loss here. And even sporting a losing record, there’s not much to complain about for this team. OUtside of an ugly loss to Georgia Tech, the ‘Dores have battled most of the season, falling to Auburn and Florida by seven points a piece, while taking down Ole Miss and Georgia in other contests. Not much was expected of them this year, but at least there were positive signs.
The same can’t be said of Tennessee as the Vols were the SEC East favorite coming into the season. Instead, they faltered with their backs up against the wall during a three-Game losing stretch. Losses to Texas A&M and Alabama were expected, but falling to South Carolina was unacceptable for this team. since, they’ve turned things around somewhat, but beating Kentucky and Missouri doesn’t say much. The Vols could have plenty of trouble in this Game, especially on the road.
In fact, Tennessee has only played three road Games all season, losing at A&M and South Carolina, while getting past Georgia by just three points. Those numbers along with how Vandy has looked at home (win over Ole Miss, no loss by more than seven points) and most of the money will be coming in on the home team.
This Game was a shoot out last year, but it’s hard to see that being the case again, especially with Vandy still fighting for bowl eligibility. The Vols ran for 331 yards in a 53-28 win last season, but they just don’t have the same type of team to do that again.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs has been himself and he can be great at times as seen against weaker competition the last few weeks, but against better defenses, he struggles. Unfortunately for him, Vandy has one of those better defenses. And after two big weeks, Dobbs now leads Tennessee in rushing, but John Kelly should see a lot of touches out of the backfield. It’s not a guarantee that this offense will Score40-plus as it has, especially considering Vandy just gave up just 17 points to Ole Miss.
Tennessee’s defense is the other issue. While they’ve won big the last few weeks, they also gave up a combined 73 points to Kentucky and Missouri. Vanderbilt’s offense isn’t good, that’s a fact, but neither is Missouri’s.
The Commodores at least have a solid ground Game led by Ralph Webb who has 1,000 yards for the second straight season to go with 10 touchdowns. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur is the bigger problem as he has just seven touchdowns and six picks on the season. He’s the main reason people will back Tennessee.
But at home in the season finale, it’s not a bad spot to back Vandy in.
The Volunteers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road Games, but just 2-10 ATS in their last 12 following a straight-up win of more than 20 points. The Commodores are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but 1-5 ATS in their last six following an ATS win. The under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these schools while the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
Our Pick – Vandy +7.5