College football odds: Ole Miss at Vanderbilt

Two programs that appear to be on the rise in the SEC face off on Thursday night in their 2013 opener as Ole Miss visits Vanderbilt, with the Rebels as 3-point favorites on WagerWeb.

Ole Miss returns eight starters to an offense that attempted 50 passes against Vanderbilt last season in Oxford. The Commodores overcame a 403-yard passing night from Bo Wallace to rally past the Rebels 27-26 and earn bowl eligibility in that Nov. 10 meeting.

The Commodores have a seven-game winning streak, the longest in the SEC and tied for the fourth longest in the country behind Ohio State (12), Arkansas State (8) and Stanford (8). Vandy has decided on Austyn Carta-Samuels as its starting quarterback. It was a foregone conclusion that the Vanderbilt senior and former Wyoming transfer would direct the offense in 2013. There are no surprises on the two-deep chart, although the competition is ongoing for the starting running back and backup quarterback positions. Franklin said he would like to have a clear-cut No. 2 quarterback — either Patton Robinette or Josh Grady — before the Ole Miss game on Aug. 29.

Last year Carta-Samuels saw action in six games for the Commodores. Earned first Commodore start against Presbyterian. He completed 14-of-24 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown on the season and contributed 27 rushing yards.

No Vanderbilt coach since before the World War I era has posted more victories in the first two years of his tenure James Franklin’s 15 wins. Under Franklin, the Commodores are 15-11 overall. His .577 winning percentage is the best by a Commodore mentor since eventual College Football Hall of Famer Red Sanders had a .578 winning percentage from 1940-48.

Vanderbilt looks to improve on a 78-41-4 all-time mark in openers. The contest marks the second straight year Vanderbilt will open with an SEC foe. In 2012, the Commodores fell to No. 9 South Carolina 17-13 in Nashville. Vanderbilt is opening at home for the fifth straight season. It also marks the Commodores’ second straight Thursday night opener. Vanderbilt has won four of its last six season openers. The ‘Dores are 3-14 when facing an SEC team in the first game of the season. The last win in a season-opener versus an SEC team came in 1988, 24-20 over Mississippi State in Nashville.

The Commodores have captured the last three games played against Ole Miss – and six of the last eight games played between the teams. The Commodores’ current three-game streak against Ole Miss is the longest since the 1949-52 seasons. The last four-game Vanderbilt winning streak in the series dates back to a 1925-1938

WagerWeb trends: Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings. Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Vanderbilt. Rebels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Vanderbilt. Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Rebels are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 meetings.

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