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Vanderbilt opens as 4-point underdog against NC State

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The Commodores meet the Wolfpack in the Independence Bowl on December 26.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vanderbilt Commodores are playing in their first bowl game since 2013 -- and just their eighth all-time -- and if they’re to beat the NC State Wolfpack in the Independence Bowl on December 26, it will be a mild upset.

Per OddsShark, the Commodores open as a 4-point underdog against NC State in betting lines released today. That’s actually a bit lower than what S&P+ would have it, as that metric sees NC State as an 11.7-point favorite on a neutral field. On the other hand, Jeff Sagarin thinks NC State should be about a 2.37-point favorite, so Sagarin’s ratings suggest that the line may be underselling Vanderbilt a bit.

For what it’s worth, the oddsmakers have had Vanderbilt as an underdog in nine of 12 games this season — and Vanderbilt is 4-5 straight up in those games (and 6-3 against the spread), so perhaps the oddsmakers have been underselling the Commodores all year.