Compass Bowl Betting Odds - Point Spread Pick
Point Spread: Vanderbilt -2.5
Money Line: Houston +130 Vanderbilt -140
The Commodores ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak including a 34-17 victory over Florida on Nov. 9 as 12-point road underdogs. They went an even 4-4 straight up in the SEC with an overall SU record of 8-4. Vanderbilt covered the spread in four of its final six games to even its mark at 6-6 ATS. The total went OVER in three of its last five games and in seven of 12 games this year.
Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels' knee injury is going to keep him out of this contest so look for Patton Robinette to get the start. To take the pressure off the passing game it will be up to running back Jerron Seymour to try and generate some production from a ground game that averaged just 133 yards. Seymour rushed for a team-high 627 yards on 144 carries. The main positive in this matchup is a Commodores' defense that really elevated its play down the stretch. It held teams to an average of just 13.5 points in its last four games as compared to a season average of 24.7 points.
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Houston's first season in the newly formed American Athletic Conference went better than expected with a 5-3 SU record in conference play as part of an overall record of 8-4 SU. The Cougars finished the year with three SU losses in their last four games, but posted a 3-1 record ATS to elevate their overall record ATS to a highly profitable 10-2. They covered as heavy road underdogs in losses to both Central Florida and Louisville as part of this run. The total stayed UNDER in their last four games.
The Cougars have always been known as a passing team and this season was no exception with an average of 284.1 yards a game. Freshman quarterback John O'Korn threw for 2,889 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing 60 percent of his 399 attempts. Deontay Greenberry was his favorite target with 76 receptions for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. Houston's running game was led by Ryan Jackson and Kenneth Farrow. These two combined for 1,141 rushing yards and 11 scores. Defensively, the Cougars allowed just 20.2 points a game, which was the 15th lowest total in Division IA.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Houston Cougars Betting Trends
The Commodores are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU win and 3-2 ATS in their last five games played away from home. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games outside the conference.
The Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last six nonconference games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games played at a neutral site. The total has stayed UNDER in nine of their last 13 games against a team with a winning record.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams in recent memory. The Cougars are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the SEC and the total has stayed UNDER in six of the last seven Compass Bowls.
BVAA Compass Bowl Point Spread Pick
The overall edge in this matchup would most likely go to Vanderbilt, which is far more battle tested given its conference schedule, but without its starting quarterback this offense could struggle to move the ball. This is a golden opportunity for Houston to steal some of the SEC's thunder with a SU win by a team from the AAC. Bank on the Cougars pulling off the upset in a low scoring game that would also be a solid play on the UNDER.