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Vanderbilt Tries To Win A Ninth Game In The 2013 College Football Season

Posted by Blake Frazier on 2/4/2014 5:36:46 AM

The Vanderbilt Commodores did not suffer a letdown this season. They don’t want to start a bad trend in their bowl game, either.

2014 BBVA Compass Bowl:

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Houston Cougars (In Birmingham, Ala.)
– Saturday, January 4
Sports betting line: Vanderbilt -3

Why Vanderbilt Will Win

In a contest of online betting, the importance of experience is often something that matters. It could very well matter here. Houston is a young team, and more specifically, it’s a team that flourished against weaker opposition in the first half of the 2013 season before running into a brick wall against the better teams in its conference. Houston breezed through much of the first six weeks of the season, but as The American Conference’s schedule moved along, the Cougars faced much more difficult opponents, and they didn’t measure up. Louisville, UCF and Cincinnati all smothered Houston’s offense, which had been moving up and down the field against other teams in the conference. The Cougars are talented, but they don’t know how to solve the better defenses they run up against. This is in many ways a product of youth.

Vanderbilt has experience going to bowl games – at least in recent years. The Commodores, as a program, hadn’t visited bowl games very often over the entire course of their history, but under current head coach James Franklin, they’ve been very consistent in getting to the postseason. This is now a normal part of life for Vanderbilt, whereas Houston didn’t make a bowl game last season and is therefore going to have a lot of players who are completely new to the bowl experience. Since these two teams will have to wait longer than most to play a bowl game (Jan. 4), the veteran team is probably going to have more of an advantage.

Vanderbilt should also have its top quarterback, Austyn Carta-Samuels, back under center after he missed several games in the 2013 regular season due to an injury. The Commodores should have in place all the pieces they need for a win.

Why Houston Will Win

When betting websites break down this contest, they’re going to give a good, long look at Houston’s offense. It’s true that UH faltered late in the season, but now – with a full month to prepare for a bowl game – the Cougars can look at a lot of film and then take their film study to the practice field for a few weeks. If Houston makes the right adjustments on offense and has quarterback John O’Korn ready to pay his best game, there’s no reason why the Cougars can’t score a pile of points and win this game. Houston certainly has the talent to win; translating youthfulness into production is the challenge for coach Tony Levine.

Who Will Win?

Houston could very easily win here, but Vanderbilt’s experience, combined with the return of Carta-Samuels at quarterback, should give the Commodores the edge.

College Football Betting Pick: Vanderbilt -3

If you want to choose a single, reliable source for all your college football betting needs this bowl season, make it this one.

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