Gary Pinkel's Missouri Tigers will look to stay undefeated this weekend when they open conference play against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The two SEC East Division adversaries will kick things off at 7:30pm ET on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville; the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 or ESPN's Gameplan. Vanderbilt is a -1.5 against the spread and -125 money line favorite ($125 wins $100) according to the latest SEC Football Odds from 5Dimes. The total in this weekend's meeting between the Tigers and Commodores is set at 56 points.
When these two teams met in Columbia last year, the Commodores scored a critical 19-15 win, propelling them onto a 5-3 conference record and 9-4 finish to the season. The score was not a reflection of stat sheet, though, as the injury depleted Tigers out-gained Vanderbilt 395 yards to 295 and limited the Commodores to a 2.1 yards per carry average.
Now healthy, the Tigers appear to be showing their real stripes as they are off to a 4-0 start with impressive wins over Indiana and Arkansas State.
Mizzou is moving the ball with great efficiency both on the ground and through the air (262 rush yards per game, 287 pass yards per game) and quarterback James Franklin is the main reason behind the improvement.
Franklin, who has thrown for 1129 yards and nine touchdowns, looks the player who accounted for 3846 yards (2865 passing, 951 rushing) and 36 touchdowns in 2011 rather than the bagged up 2012 version of himself that completed just 59.4 percent of his passes while throwing 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
Vanderbilt comes into Saturday's game off back to back wins over Massachusetts and UAB, but it has faltered against real competition, losing to Ole Miss and South Carolina.
The Commodores are the favorite here, but their 44th ranked defense and 59th ranked offense suggest they may have trouble taming these Tigers.
SEC Football Odds Missouri vs Vanderbilt:
Missouri Tigers +1.5 (-110), Over 56 (-110), +105 (Moneyline)
Vanderbilt Commodores -1.5 (-110), Under 56 (-110), -125 (Moneyline)
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