A pair of SEC teams in search of their first conference win will meet when the Vanderbilt Commodores visit the Ole Miss Rebels. Kickoff is at 3:30 EST on Saturday, October 14 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Fans can watch the game on the SEC Network.

The Rebels are listed as 3-point favorites at home. The over/under for the SEC clash is 57 points. Click here to check out a full list of Week 7 betting odds and links to game previews.

Vanderbilt vs Ole Miss Vegas Odds & Game Preview

Vanderbilt got off to a 3-0 start this year, including a win over Kansas State. But things have been all downhill since SEC play started. The Commodores have suffered consecutive losses to Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. To be fair, those three teams are all among the four or five best in the conference. But it does have Derek Mason’s team scrambling to get back on track. Vandy’s bowl hopes could start to slip away without a win this weekend.

It’s a similar story for Ole Miss, who has been knocked around by Alabama and Auburn the past two weeks. With their only wins on the season coming against South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin, the Rebels need to win four of their last seven to get to a bowl game, making this week’s game against Vanderbilt a virtual must-win for them.

This may actually be one of the more underrated rivalries in the SEC. They have met every year since 1970 despite now playing in different divisions. Ole Miss owns the all-time record, but Vanderbilt has won six of the last 10 meetings, including a 38-17 win last year in Nashville.

Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Vanderbilt +3

Before Vanderbilt’s three-game skid, the Commodores showcased a tough defense. Now that they aren’t playing one of the SEC’s elite teams, I expect that defense to return and help the Commodores pull off a road win. With three points to play with, I’ll lean toward Vanderbilt in this matchup.

On paper, the Rebels have a potent passing attack, and quarterback Shea Patterson is one of the most productive quarterbacks in the country. But those stats are deceptive. He did most of his damage against South Alabama and UT-Martin. He then struggled against Cal and Alabama. Last week against Auburn, the Rebels fell behind 38-3 before they managed to find the end zone, so their only success on offense came in garbage time.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

A more accurate stat as it pertains to the Ole Miss offense is just 2.9 yards per rushing attempt on the season. Even against inferior opponents early in the season, the Rebels couldn’t run the ball with any consistency. The Vanderbilt defense should have no trouble shutting down the Ole Miss running the game, putting all the pressure on Patterson to move the ball with his arm.

Offensively, the Commodores have been underwhelming this season. Of course, playing Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, and Kansas State may have something to do with that. This week, Vanderbilt’s offense will play an Ole Miss team that’s giving up more than 37 points per game. Even UT-Martin scored 23 points against the Rebels. If Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Schurmur can continue to protect the ball, having thrown just one interception this season, the Commodores should generate enough offense to win this game.

In the SEC, defense wins out more times than not, so I’ll side with the team that has the better defense. I don’t expect Vandy to completely shut down Patterson and the Ole Miss offense. But I also don’t expect much help from the Ole Miss defense. Ultimately, the Commodores will get enough stops on defense to win, despite being underdogs on the road.