Over/Under 4 Wins () vs Vanderbilt Commodores ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : Middle Tennessee State @ Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
Location : Vanderbilt Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 4 Wins vs Vanderbilt Commodores
Vanderbilt is entering its 6th season under Derek Mason and this could possibly the last season for Mason especially if they continually fail to make a bowl game, something that was a norm under James Franklin. Mason was able to start 2017 with a 3-0 record which had peoples heads turning but we quickly learned that was a fluke as Vanderbilt went 1-7 in the SEC. Mason brought in a new defensive coordinator which should help a team who saw way too many blowouts last season but they will be starting from scratch as they only have 4 starters returning on that side of the ball. The run game offensively will also need to improve as they were one of the worst in all of the SEC. Vanderbilt isn’t an appealing school for your typical recruit which showed on the recruiting trail as Mason’s class ended up 12th of 14th with only two 4-star recruits. The SEC East was weak the last few years but with the new hires at Florida and Tennesee as well as a refueled Georgia team Vanderbilt is in for trouble.
Over/Under 4 Wins's Latest Performance :
Vanderbilt hasn’t made a bowl game since 2013 and given the holes in their offensive skill positions, it becomes unlikely they reach this mark for the 5th straight year. Given the lack of success this team has had under Mason and the strength of the SEC, oddsmakers have set the over/under win total at 4 wins.
No Tough SEC West Visits
The Vanderbilt Commodores may not be anywhere close to scary for any ordinary SEC opponent which stands true, and even though Vandy believes they have the talent to compete in the SEC East it’s just not there. Luckily for Mason and company, Vanderbilt will not be seeing any of the powerhouse SEC West teams which is probably for the better after their 59-0 loss against Alabama last season. The two toughest road games for Vanderbilt this season is the non-conference game against Norte Dame and their matchup against defending SEC champs in the Georgia Bulldogs. Vanderbilt has a winnable non-conference schedule as they will see Nevada, Tennessee State, and Middle Tennesse State.
Vanderbilt Commodores's Latest Performance :
Vanderbilt may not be returning many starters on the defensive side of the ball which could scare Mason and his new defensive coordinator but the one positive is the return of veteran QB Kyle Shurmur. Shurmur should be ready for his senior season after having a pretty good 2017 as he threw for 2823 yards and 26 TDs which ranked inside the top half of the SEC. Outside of Shurmur, there is not much hope as they are missing their top running back as well as 2 of their top 3 receivers from a 1-7 2017 SEC squad. The one guy who should be ready to shoulder more of a load is junior Kalija Lipscomb who had a pretty good 2017 campaign as he had 610 yards and a team-high 8 TDs. Mason went out and hired Jason Tarver who will need to bring a new scheme to a team who let up 40+ points in 5 different games. The one bright spot for the Commodores defense resides in their linebacker core as they bring back 3 of their 2017 starters. LaDarius Wiley is a big-time safety as he comes in at 6’1 215 LBS and his presence showed last season as he led the team in tackles with 88 and I expect nothing less out of him in his senior season. Tarver also has to be happy at the fact he gets his two top sack leaders back in Charles Wright and Dare Odeyingbo as they combined for 14 sacks in 2017.
Player To Watch
Jamauri Wakefield, RB, RS SO.
Vanderbilt has been left with filling some holes in terms of their offensive weapons and one of those guys who departed was running back Ralph Webb. Mason doesn’t have a running back on his roster who cracked 150 yards last season which could be problematic when you have teams like Florida and Georgia on the schedule. One guy who will be asked to fill in for Webb will be physical back Jamauri Wakefield who averaged 4.1 YPC last season. Wakefield is coming in at 220 pounds which may prompt more of a red zone role rather than your typical every down back. I expect veteran QB Shurmur to lead this team into the red zone quite a few times this season and it will be vital for them to close those possessions out with points if they want a chance at a bowl game. Enter Wakefield.
How Over/Under 4 Wins & Vanderbilt Commodores Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 4 Wins -110
Under 4 Win -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- Middle Tennessee State- W
9/8- Nevada- W
9/15- @ Norte Dame- L
9/22- South Carolina- L
9/29- Tennessee State- W
10/6- @ Georgia- W
10/13- Florida- L
10/20- @ Kentucky- L
10/27- @ Arkansas- L
11/10 @ Missouri- L
11/17- Ole Miss- L
11/24- Tennessee- L
Overall Record- 3-9
Against The Spread Selection: Under 4 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
Vanderbilt is flat out not good and we have seen that year after year and things won’t look much better this season as I personally believe Mason will fail to win an SEC game this season. Vanderbilt lost most of their offensive production from 2017 and not to mention that team only won one game in the SEC. Normally I would have Vanderbilt beating Tennessee or Kentucky but not this year as Tennessee has a new bright minded coach and they have to travel to Lexington for a matchup against Kentucky. Shurmur is Vanderbilt’s only chance at cracking 4 wins and even though they should win 3 of their 4 non-conference matchups I just don’t see him having enough talent around him. Go under the 4 win mark.