Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Missouri Tigers: SEC Football Week 6 Predictions

Vanderbilt Commodores at Missouri Tigers
Saturday, 10/6/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  Missouri -7.5
Current Betting Line:  Missouri -6.5
Opening Total:  46.5
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Vanderbilt Commodores are looking to bounce back after a humiliating loss to the Georgia Bulldogs

Vanderbilt will face Saturday’s opponent for the first time since 1958, as it looks to bounce back from a humiliating 48-3 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs as 14.5-point road underdogs last week.  The Commodores still have reasons to be optimistic, especially considering the team’s health at this stage of the season.  “We’re pretty much injury-free,” stated Commodores head coach James Franklin.  “Yeah, we’re healthy.”  Three of the team’s early-season opponents are 5-0 heading into Week 6.  Vanderbilt is 3-9 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons, which is important to handicap when making your college football picks this week.

The Commodores have one of the better running backs in the Southeastern Conference, with Zac Stacy ranking eighth in gaining 341 rushing yards.  He sits fifth on the school’s career list with 2,343 yards, while also hitting pay dirt 21 times.  Stacy’s 5.6-yard career average easily ranks as the highest mark in Vanderbilt history.  Saturday’s game may come down to execution in the red zone, as the program ranks 102nd-nationally in efficiency in that category, scoring just four touchdowns in 15 tries.

Missouri returns home after splitting a two-game road trip, as it picked up a 21-16 victory over the Central Florida Knights as 1.5-point underdogs last week.  The Tigers will not leave the state until the calendar flips to November, which makes this stretch a crucial part of their 2012 campaign.  Head coach Gary Pinkel has to be happy to see left tackle Elvis Fisher back in the fold, who has started 42 games during his career.  “It helps us,” commented Pinkel this week.  Missouri is 8-6 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.

The Tigers will be playing their second of three straight games against opponents coming off a bye, which could play an important part due to potential fatigue.  Missouri has enjoyed quite a home field advantage at Faurot Field, posting a 51-19 record in that situation during the Pinkel era that started in 2001.  Quarterback James Franklin will need to build off last week’s performance, as he completed 19-of-30 passes for 257 yards.

Sports bettors will likely back the Commodores due to their 7-1 ATS mark following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points, while the Tigers are 1-6 ATS following a victory.

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