Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holy underdog! Vanderbilt actually favored to beat Tennessee

Right now the Commodores are a 3-point favorite over the Volunteers. The line opened at 2 1/2.

Why am I even mentioning this? I mean, Vanderbilt is 6-4 and 4-3 in the SEC and Tennessee is 3-7 and 1-5 in the SEC. And the game's at Vanderbilt. Of course they should be favored, right?

Well, wrong. This is the only the second time all season that Vanderbilt has been a favorite when the line opened.

Nobody including bookies can seem to get over the fact that the Commodores are capable of beating anybody.

Case in point:

• UNDERDOG AT MIAMI (OH): Vanderbilt, a member of the strongest conference on earth, opens against Miami of Ohio, a member of, well, one of the many conferences on earth. Vanderbilt is a 4-point underdog.

• UNDERDOG VS. SOUTH CAROLINA: Vanderbilt beats the Redhawks and is a huge underdog at home against Top-25 South Carolina. Fair enough.

• UNDERDOG VS. RICE: In a brilliant performance, Vanderbilt shocks the Gamecocks to go 2-0. Next up are the Rice Owls, which struggled to beat Memphis a week earlier. The game is at Vanderbilt. And the Owls are favored to win. Huh?

• UNDERDOG AT OLE MISS: Vanderbilt beats Rice handily to go 3-0, then travels to Oxford to face 2-1 Ole Miss, whom the Commodores beat last season. Of course, Ole Miss is favored.

• UNDERDOG VS. AUBURN: Auburn travels to Vanderbilt, which is 4-0 after a stunning victory over Ole Miss. On GameDay, even Vol-fan Kenny Chesney likes the Commodores (though Lee Corso does not). Auburn, 4-1 and coming off a narrow defeat to LSU and a narrow victory over Tennessee, is a strong favorite.

• PICK ’EM AT MISS STATE: Vanderbilt stuns Auburn to go 5-0, and Vanderbilt's previous victim, Ole Miss, upsets Florida in Gainesville. Next up: Mississippi State, which is 1-4. The opening line is pick ’em. Huh? But by game time, the Commodores are favored.

• UNDERDOG AT GEORGIA: Vanderbilt stinks up the joint in Starkville and is a sizable underdog on the road against Georgia. Makes sense.

• FAVORITE VS. DUKE: Now 5-2, the Commodores are actually favored to beat Duke. Let's don't talk about it.

• UNDERDOG VS. FLORIDA: Now 5-3, the Commodores are a huge underdog against Florida. Let's don't talk about it.

• UNDERDOG AT KENTUCKY: Now 5-4, the Commodores are a 4-point underdog against Kentucky in Lexington. They win by seven.

• FAVORITE VS. TENNESSEE: Now 6-4 and bowl eligible, the Commodores are favored to beat Tennessee.

By the way, Vanderbilt is now 0-2 when favored to win. By the way, Vanderbilt is now 0-3 in day games. Against Tennessee, the Commodores are favored to win and the game is at 12:30 EST.

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