The Vanderbilt Commodores (-3.5) are favorites as they prepare to battle the Baylor Bears in the Academy Sports+Outdoors Texas Bowl. This showdown will kick off pretty late for those on the East Coast (9:00 p.m. ET) and fans can catch the action by tuning in to ESPN.
Betting Preview: Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Baylor Bears
Baylor is a live dog in this Thursday matchup and is currently getting 3.5 points. The Bears are also receiving +155 moneyline odds while the Commodores are -175. Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 54.5 points, and if one side can get out in front early, it would likely produce a decent live betting scenario.
The opening line was originally placed at 4.5 and the O/U was initially 55, so sharp bettors are favoring the Bears.
The Bears have gained 1.8 units this season and are 6-6 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an O/U record of 5-6.
The Commodores have gained 0.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. They’re 8-4 ATS and have an O/U record of 3-9.
The Bears are 6-6 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Commodores are also 6-6 SU.
The Bears are coming off a resounding 35-24 win over Texas Tech on November 24. Charlie Brewer completed 22 passes on 30 attempts for 308 yards, three scores and one interception. John Lovett (125 rushing yards on 28 attempts, one TD) and Trestan Ebner (64 yards on 10 carries) led the ground attack in the win while Chris Platt (six receptions, 114 yards) and Denzel Mims (five catches, 65 yards, two TDs) shared the receiving duties.
Vanderbilt just earned a 38-13 win over Tennessee. The team’s defensive unit allowed the Volunteers to rush for 103 yards on 14 attempts, along with one rushing TD. Ty Chandler had a good outing in the defeat, recording 88 rushing yards and a score on seven attempts for Tennessee. For Vanderbilt, Kyle Shurmur completed 31-of-35 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns. Khari Blasingame (70 rushing yards on 20 attempts, one TD) handled the ground attack in the win as Kalija Lipscomb (eight receptions, 86 yards) and C.J. Bolar (six catches, 93 yards) led the pass-catching attack.
In terms of offensive play-calling, each of these teams sports a similar run-pass ratio on the season. Baylor’s run the ball on 50.3 percent of its offensive possessions while Vanderbilt has a rush percentage of 52.0. The Bears have rushed for 159.5 yards per game and have 21 scores via handoffs this year. The Commodores are averaging 157.6 rushing yards per game and have 18 total rush TDs.
The Bears offensive scheme has logged 282.2 yards/game through the air overall and has 20 passing TDs so far. The Commodores have recorded 240.2 pass yards per contest and have 23 total pass scores.
Defensively, Baylor has allowed opponents to run for an average of 174.8 yards and throw for 238.4 yards per game. The Vanderbilt defense has allowed 232.6 yards per game to opposing passers and 187.3 yards per game on the ground. The Commodores are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 6.26 to opponents, while the Bears have given up a 7.16 ANY/A.
Shurmur has been sharper than Brewer recently. His adjusted net yards per pass attempt stands at 7.58 for the season and 8.15 across his last two outings while Brewer’s ANY/A is 6.63 (and 5.78 over the last two outings).
Baylor Bears vs. Vanderbilt Commodores NCAA Prediction
SU Winner: Baylor, ATS Winner: Baylor, O/U: Under
Team Betting Notes
- The Baylor defensive unit has 23 sacks on the year while Vanderbilt has 20.
- The Vanderbilt offense has lost seven fumbles in 2018 while the Baylor offense has lost six.
- The Bears offense has tallied six pass plays of 40+ yards, while the Commodores have put up seven such plays.
- The Baylor defense has allowed 13 pass plays of 40 yards or more, while Vanderbilt has given up seven such plays.
- The Baylor offense has created 10 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Vanderbilt has created 16 such runs.
- The Bears defense has allowed 23 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Commodores have given up 18 such runs.
- As a team, Baylor has produced 3.7 yards per carry over its past three games and 3.4 over its last two.
- Vanderbilt has averaged 4.7 yards per carry over its last three contests and 3.7 over its last two.