Liberty Bowl Pick: Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Gambling Odds from BetDSI
NCAA FB Betting Favorite: Vanderbilt -1.5
It has been a long time since Vanderbilt was bowl eligible, but the Commodores locked up a bowl bid with a big win in their regular season finale this year. Cincinnati has had several different coaches the last few years, but the Bearcats continue to run a successful football program. It is the Big East against the SEC in this New Year’s Eve bowl game.
Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Packers star Aaron Rodgers, has asserted himself as the starting quarterback for Vanderbilt. Jordan is still developing as a passer, but he is an impressive runner. Rodgers threw for 1,498 yards and ran for 388 yards during the regular season. Zac Stacy is a hard runner who has thrived in the Commodores improved offensive system this year. Stacy averaged 6.2 yards per carry this year. The team lacks a real deep threat on the outside. Vanderbilt averaged 27 points per game this year. This is an offense that improved as the season moved along.
The Commodores defense was terrific this year. Chris Marve suffered through some tough seasons with Vanderbilt, but he has been a steady rock for this Commodores defense from his linebacker spot. Marve is a tackling machine and he is a great leader on and off the field. The Commodores front seven is very good against the run, and the secondary has been solid against the pass as well. This is a unit that fights hard on every down, and they have really helped drive the overall team’s improvement.
Zach Collaros suffered a broken ankle in week 11, but he is expected to be ready for this game. Collaros will likely be far less mobile than normal, but this team needs him under center. He has completed 63% of his passes for 1,860 yards this season. Isaiah Pead is one of those guys that doesn’t seem to get too much attention, but he is a very solid runner. Pead averages 5.3 yards per carry, and he ran for 11 touchdowns. The Bearcats have four players that finished with at least 36 catches this year, so they have plenty of receiving options. This is an offense that averaged an impressive 33.5 points per game this year.
The Bearcats defense was a bit of an enigma. The front seven was terrific against the run. Cincinnati ranked sixth in the nation in rushing defense during the regular season. On the other hand, the secondary has been torched constantly this year. Cincinnati ranks 106th out of 120 teams in pass defense. Overall, this defense has done a nice job keeping the opponent out of the end zone. Cincinnati allowed 20 points per game this season.
Vanderbilt really doesn’t have the personnel to beat Cincinnati with the pass. Both defenses should hold up well in this one. Look for a low scoring contest.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Free Pick: Under 48.5
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