College Football Week 1 Predictions: Mississippi Rebels vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

Mississippi Rebels vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
Thursday, 8/29/13, 9:15 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Mississippi -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Mississippi -3
Opening Total:  54
Current Total:  53.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Vanderbilt Commodores are 11-2 ATS at home since 2011
The Vanderbilt Commodores are 11-2 ATS at home since 2011

Mississippi is 87-26-5 all-time in season openers, including a 14-3 mark in its last 17 games in that situation.  The Rebels are looking to snap a nine-game skid in SEC openers, but they’ve never lost a football game in August—boasting a record of 6-0 dating back to 1991.  The program returns 54 lettermen and 21 starters, which can’t be ignored when making your college football predictions Thursday night.  Junior quarterback Bo Wallace is on preseason watch lists for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards.  Mississippi is 0-2 as road favorites of three points or less the last two seasons, with the UNDER cashing in both of those opportunities.

The Rebels are 47-38-2 against the Commodores, but they’ve gone 21-27-2 in games played in Nashville.  Mississippi is 8-5 when opening the season against an SEC foe since the league started in 1933, which includes a 4-4 mark on the road.  Since the conference started divisional play in 1992, the program has compiled a 29-33 record versus Eastern members, with losses in two such games under head coach Hugh Freeze.  Four of the team’s first five games are on the road—finishing out with six of seven at home.

Vanderbilt will open its schedule against a conference opponent for a second consecutive season, as it looks to improve upon its lowly 3-14 mark when doing so as a school.  The Commodores enter the 2013 campaign riding the SEC’s longest win streak of seven games—a run that happens to be tied for the fourth longest in the nation.  Dating back to 1996, the squad has produced a 4-4 record in Thursday night games, which includes a 17-13 loss versus the South Carolina Gamecocks a season ago.  Vanderbilt is 11-2 ATS at home since 2011, with the OVER going 9-4 in those 13 contests.

The Commodores are the only SEC team that will have their entire coaching staff intact from 2012.  Vanderbilt rallied from a 17-point deficit in picking up a 27-26 victory over Mississippi on Nov. 10 of last season, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds page.  Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels has earned the team’s staring quarterback role, as he prepares to replace two-year starter Jordan Rodgers.  On the defensive side of the ball, the unit welcomes back 22 letterwinners, including six starters.

Sports bettors will likely back the Commodores due to their 12-3 ATS record in their last 15 home games.

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