Compass Bowl Preview: Vanderbilt Favored over Houston

The Vanderbilt Commodores are bowling again in 2013. This is their third straight season in a bowl. That’s good stuff for a school that had only been to three bowls in school history prior to that. The Houston Cougars are no strangers to bowl games as they’ve been going to them for a long time. On Saturday, the two meet in historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Vandy may have been better off going to Alabama because the weather in Florida on New Year’s Day was awful. In all three SEC vs Big Ten Florida games it was rainy and cold. Birmingham may not be a nice tropical bowl destination, but it can’t be any worse than Florida was this year. Plus, is there a better college football town than Birmingham? So many great games have been played at Legion Field over the years.

The Cougars and Commodores both bring in 8-4 marks into the game. So while this may not be one of the majors, it is a good matchup between the AAC and SEC. The two conferences have done well in the bowls so far. The AAC has wins in the Fiesta Bowl with the UCF Knights and the Russell Athletics Bowl with the Louisville Cardinals. The SEC has wins in the Outback Bowl (LSU Tigers), Capital One Bowl, (South Carolina Gamecocks), Chick Fil A Bowl, (Texas A&M Aggies), Music City Bowl (Ole Miss Rebels), and Liberty Bowl (Mississippi State Bulldogs). This is the final bowl for the season for the AAC. A win would give the conference a nice 3-2 record. The SEC is 5-2 going into Friday’s Bowl action where the Mizzou Tigers are facing the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A Tigers win would give the SEC a 6-2 mark going into the BBVA Compass Bowl with the Auburn Tigers meeting the Florida State Seminoles in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday.

We gave you Vandy’s big wins, now let’s look at the Houston resume. They beat the Rice Owls and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, both of who went to bowls. They also had a one point loss to the BYU Cougars, a five point loss to UCF and seven point losses to Louisville and the Cincinnati Bearcats, all of who went to bowls. Vandy’s losses were all to bowl teams as well. They lost to Ole Miss, Mizzou, South Carolina and Texas A&M. They were blown out in a couple of those games unlike Houston who with one more touchdown per game may have gone unbeaten.

Top Bet has Houston +2.5 -110 and Vanderbilt -2.5 -110 ATS. Moneyline is Houston +115 and Vandy -135. Over/Under is 53 with over and under -110. We like Vanderbilt -2.5 -110 and the under -110. Vandy’s defense will be tough to score on and Houston’s defense is pretty tough as well.

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