Usually it’s tough to predict how a bowl game is going to go, simply because it’s hard to know how the teams are approaching the contest. Do they really want to win or are they on vacation? I have no idea what’s going to happen in the Independence Bowl (although I suspect the players will know pretty quickly there are no vacations in Shreveport), but Vegas likes NC State to win.
The early line has the Wolfpack as a four-point favorite over Vanderbilt, per Vegas Insider. So basically State would be about a touchdown favorite if this game were in Raleigh, or a modest one-point favorite in Nashville.
My gut inclination is that S&P+ has this game pegged better than the human sharps—according to S&P+, NC State has a 75% chance of winning the Independence Bowl and is expected to win by a dozen points. I’m not saying this one is gonna be easy, but I do think that’s a more accurate reflection of the distance between the Pack and the Commodores.