Missouri football coach Barry Odom appeared to have lost it when he went on a bizarre postgame rant directed at the media after the Tigers’ 51-14 home loss to Auburn early in the season. I also thought he might be fired after this season, just his second year as a head coach.
Well, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. Missouri has covered its past six games and will try to extend a four-game winning streak Saturday at Vanderbilt. The Tigers have won their past four games by 47, 40, 29 and 33 points.
Missouri has beaten the closing line by 113½ points during its six-game streak against the spread. On the flip side, the Commodores are mired in a 1-5-1 ATS slide, during which they’ve been beaten by 97½ points more than the closing number.
Tigers quarterback Drew Lock has been fantastic, throwing for 25 touchdowns with four interceptions in the past six games.
Vanderbilt is 0-6 in Southeastern Conference play, losing by at least 14 points in five of those games and by at least 22 in four. The Commodores are allowing 46.2 points per game to SEC opponents.
I made Missouri a 14½-point favorite, yet the Tigers are favored by 8. This is easy pickings.
Four more plays (home team in CAPS):
Missouri-VANDERBILT (Over 66): The Commodores are ranked No. 116 in the nation of 130 FBS teams in run defense. The Tigers gashed Tennessee for 433 rushing yards in last week’s 50-17 win. The over is 6-0 in Vanderbilt’s SEC games and 5-2 in Missouri’s past seven outings.
WEST VIRGINIA (-3) over Texas: I made the Mountaineers a 7-point favorite. They’re 4-1 straight up at home, with their loss against Oklahoma State when quarterback Will Grier played the worst game of his career. Grier since has led West Virginia to back-to-back wins and covers over Iowa State and Kansas State.
Texas A&M-MISSISSIPPI (Over 68): The over has hit in seven straight Ole Miss games and nine of 10. Rebels backup quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has been nothing short of sensational. Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel missed six consecutive games after getting injured in the opener at UCLA. He has thrown six TD passes without an interception in his first two games back. The Rebels are ranked 125th in run defense.
Mississippi State (-13) over ARKANSAS: I avoid laying double digits on the road, especially with a team such as the Bulldogs, who could fall into a flat scenario here. But they could come out flat and still win by at least two touchdowns. Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen isn’t healthy, and backup Cole Kelley was suspended after getting charged with DUI on Sunday. Athletic director Jeff Long was fired this week, meaning coach Bret Bielema is on his way out, too. That’s a huge distraction.
Last week: 3-2 against the spread
Brian Edwards of VegasInsider.com and BrianEdwardsSports.com is providing college football analysis for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Follow @vegasbedwards on Twitter.