Free Week 4 Prediction: Commodores vs Hilltoppers Odds
Looking for Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers free picks? Week 4 College football betting sees the Commodores taking on the Hilltoppers Saturday, September 24th at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks of NCAA football all season long, so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions.
(1-2) Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (2-1)
Date: Saturday, September 24th
Time: 4:30 pm EST
Venue: L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, Kentucky
NCAA Football Spread: Western Kentucky -7.5
NCAA Betting Total: OFF
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Generally, a power-five school would enjoy overwhelming odds vs. Conference USA opposition.
However, the inverse holds true as faltering Vanderbilt meets Western Kentucky Saturday. Following a narrow 14-12 victory against Vandy last season, this weekend the Hilltoppers are perceived three-plus touchdown favorites over the Commodores.
Let’s examine why.
Western Kentucky concludes its SEC tour after an encouraging 38-10 week two loss versus the top-ranked Crimson Tide. WKU’s performance at legendary Bryant-Denny Stadium was a relative success compared to Southern Cal’s 52-6 week one embarrassment vs. Alabama.
Further bolstering the Hilltoppers’ cause are offensive eruptions (38.5 ppg) in conquests of Rice and Miami of Ohio. Conversely, Vanderbilt has struggled while averaging a paltry 8.5 ppg in losses to South Carolina and Georgia Tech.
The Commodores’ lone 2016 win has come against C-USA contender Middle Tennessee State (2-1).
Last week opposite undefeated Georgia Tech, the Commodores were trounced 38-7 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Vanderbilt’s porous defense yielded 511 yards, (289 rushing, 222 passing) as six different Tech running backs ripped through the line for runs of 10-yards or greater. Adding to their overall woes, the Commodores rank 118th in total yardage accrued from scrimmage.
Along with their defense, Vanderbilt’s offensive attack struggled vs. the Ramblin Wreck. Lead back Ralph Webb rushed for a sub-par 68 yard total (3.8 Avg) on 18 carries.
Meanwhile, QB Kyle Shurmur completed 17-of-24 passes, yet averaged just 5.7 yards per completion. Inexplicably, Vandy’s top receiver, Kalija Lipscomb, has a sparce eight receptions for 90 yards this season.
Vanderbilt will need an improved passing game if they hope to find success against Western Kentucky.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
On the season, Junior quarterback Mike White has passed for 920 yards while compiling a respectable 5/2 touchdown/interception ratio.
In last week’s 31-24 victory over Miami of Ohio, White threw for 268 yards and a pair of touchdowns to veteran receivers Nicholas Norris (11 rec., 187 yds) and Taywan Taylor (3 rec. 58 yards).
With 2015 leading rusher Anthony Wale sidelined (hamstring) Freshman running back Quinton Baker enjoyed a breakout performance, rushing for 103 yards while catching four passes.
Western Kentucky looks to validate last season’s #24 final ranking and C-USA success with a victory over an SEC opponent.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Western Kentucky finished last season 12-2, ranked #24th in the final FBS poll.
- Vanderbilt has a record of 8-20 under current Head Coach Derek Mason
- Western Kentucky is 2-1 ATS this season. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt is 1-2 ATS this season.
Free Week 4 NCAA Football Prediction
After prolific passer Brandon Doughty’s NFL Draft matriculation, WKU’s offensive production has somewhat declined. Furthermore, the Hilltoppers’ 72nd (25.3 ppg) nationally-ranked defense is middling.
Serving to further balance this weekend’s competitive scales is 2015 1,000 yard-rusher Anthony Wales’ doubtful status.
Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s top performance of the young season came against a comparable C-USA opponent in standout Middle Tennessee State.
As a note of comparison, last season Western Kentucky dominated Miami of Ohio 56-14 — this season the Hilltoppers escaped with a one-touchdown victory.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Western Kentucky -7.5
Though the oddsmakers prohibitively favor Western Kentucky, there is a decent chance of an upset this Saturday. With all factors considered, the safe money is still on the Hilltoppers.
Week 4 Free Score Prediction: Western Kentucky 31 – Vanderbilt 20
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