When it comes to making winning college football bowl picks the expert handicapper Ben Burns has years of experience and makes all the right moves. Last night was just another occasion of him beating the bowl game lines, when he took the points with Vanderbilt in the 2008 Music City Bowl. Let’s see why he was on the Commodores over Boston College:
I’m taking the points with VANDERBILT. The Eagles bring the better record to the table. However, the Commodores played in the extremely tough SEC, so there 6-6 record is arguably a lot better than some of the other 6-6 teams.
Yes, the Commodores did struggle down the stretch. I successfully played against them in their losses vs. Mississippi State and Tennessee, so its not like I am unaware of their second half problems. Again, they were playing against some of the best teams in the country though and now they’ve had plenty of time to recover from that gruelling schedule. I expect the Commodores to enter today’s game “fresh,” much like they were at the beginning of the season.
While the Eagles may be somewhat disappointed, without question, the Commodores will be extremely excited to be here and motivated to play well. After all, their players weren’t even alive the last time (1982) that the Commodores played in a bowl game. As coach Bobby Johnson said: “I’m excited, our staff is excited and our players are excited about getting a chance to experience a bowl game. Getting to play in the Gaylord Music City Bowl is a fantastic reward for this football team and Vanderbilt University.” Let’s not forget that Vanderbilt beat teams like Mississippi, Kentucky, South Carolina and Auburn this season.
While the Eagles do boast an excellent defense, their offense has struggled to replace Matt Ryan and they enter today’s game still with questions at quarterback – much like Vanderbilt. Overall, the Eagles have averaged just 318 yards of offense, which makes covering more than a field goal away from home tough. Note that Boston College, is 5-8 ATS the last 13 times that it was favored in the -3.5 to -10 range. Conversely, Vanderbilt is 4-1 ATS the last five times it was an underdog in the +3.5 to +10 range and 7-2 ATS its last nine in the underdog role overall. After getting crushed by Virginia Tech in the ACC Title game, Boston College is 0-4 ATS its last four in December. With this game being played in Nashville, look for a highly inspired effort from the Commodores as they take this game down to the wire and earn at least the cover. *Main Event