Saturday Selections: Week 3 SEC Picks Against the Spread

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Sep 6, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback Stephen Rivers (17) passes the ball during the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at LP Field. Mississippi won 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

UMass at Vanderbilt (-16), 11am CT, ESPN3

After losing their first two games by a combined 78-10, Vanderbilt looks like a bad, bad football team. The Derek Mason era is off to a nightmarish start and it is hard to imagine the Commodores being competitive at all in the SEC this season.

Luckily for them, Vandy does not have to play an SEC school this week. In fact, they will host what is considered to be one of the worst FBS programs in the nation. They’re even a 16-point favorite! And that’s down one and a half points since the line opened.

Simply put, the Commodores have a chance to gain some confidence this week. And boy do they need it. But, can a team that has been this bad this season cover a 16-point spread against anyone?

Vanderbilt has scored only ten points this year, and as pathetic as they have been in the passing game (60 yards last week against Ole Miss), it’s hard to imagine an offensive outburst this week.

Plus, UMass scored 38 points last week against Colorado, so they Commodores will have to contend with a team that has proven they can find the end zone. The Minutemen still lost and are 0-2 on the season, but at least they showed some life against a Power 5 Conference opponent.

As poor as Vanderbilt has played this season, they’ve got to show improvement at some point, right? I’ve said before that I think Derek Mason is a quality coach. This week is an opportunity to show that he can turn around a bad situation. I think he does.

Vanderbilt 31, UMass 14