The North Carolina State Wolfpack will play the Vanderbilt Commodores in the Camping World Independence Bowl. Here is a game preview, the odds, and a pick.
College football has three games on tap for the day after Christmas on Monday, Dec. 26. One of those bowl games will be the Camping World Independence Bowl between the North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-6) and the Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6). Kickoff from Independence Stadium in Shreveport will be at 5:00 p.m. ET. ESPN 2 will have the telecast.
This bowl game features an interesting ACC/SEC matchup of two teams that had to fight for bowl eligibility in the final week of the regular season against an in-state rival. North Carolina State had to beat the cross-divisional rival North Carolina Tar Heels to get to 6-6. Vanderbilt had to surge in the second half at home against the Tennessee Volunteers to get to .500 at 6-6.
Point Spread: North Carolina State -5.5
Moneylines: North Carolina State -230, Vanderbilt +190
According to OddsShark.com, North Carolina State will be a 5.5-point favorite at neutral site Independence Stadium over Vanderbilt. The associated moneylines for the Independence Bowl are North Carolina State -230 and Vanderbilt +190. This game’s over/under comes in at a combined 44 points.
Here are the trends to know with North Carolina State: 1.) The Wolfpack are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games. 2.) North Carolina State is 2-5 straight up in its last seven games. 3.) The point total has gone under in all five of the Wolfpack’s last five games.
Here are the trends to know with Vanderbilt: 1.) Vanderbilt is 4-2 straight up and against the spread in its last six games. 2.) The point total has gone under in 17 of the Commodores’ last 25 games.
Going with the under is the wise play in this game. Neither team is explosive on offense and playing the day after Christmas will probably keep this bowl game low-scoring. What will be the difference in this game is which team wants it more on the defensive side of the ball.
Vanderbilt has the best player playing in the Camping World Independence Bowl in inside linebacker Zach Cunningham. Cunningham will want to elevate his draft status with a big bowl game performance.
This game will mean more to Vanderbilt, as this is the first bowl game of the Derek Mason era in football. His defense has been outstanding all year so look for that to continue.
Pick: Vanderbilt 20, North Carolina State 17