The game of the day in the SEC this Saturday afternoon (3:30pm ET) features the 8th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1) taking on the 4th ranked and undefeated Florida Gators (6-0) down in the Swamp at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. South Carolina has a 6-1 record ATS this season, and has won 6 straight against the line coming into this game, including last week when they lost a heart-breaker at LSU 23-21 as a 3 point underdog. Florida is 5-1 ATS this year, and currently on a 5 game winning streak against the line after covering a 9.5 point line in a 31-17 win at Vanderbilt last week. The Gamecocks have won the last two games outright in this series to snap a 4-gmae Florida winning streak; last season the Gamecocks covered a 2.5 point line in a 17-12 win over Head Coach Steve Spurrier’s old team.
The Gamecocks feature on of the top tailbacks in the country in Marcus Lattimore (584 yards rushing, 10 TDs) and a ball-control offense that ranks 36th among FBS teams with 34.1 points per game and 83rd nationally in total offense with 378.3 yards per game. Lattimore may not start this week because of a hip injury, his status bears watching and Kenny Miles (100 yards rushing, 1 TD) and freshman Mike Davis would share the load in his absence. The Gamecock defense is one of the country’s stingiest units, ranking 5th in scoring defense with 12.3 PPG allowed and 12th in total defense with 296.3 YPG allowed.
Florida has struggled throwing the football this season with quarterback Jeff Driskel (836 yards passing, 4 TDs, 1 INT) and has one of the least productive passing games in the country ranking 118th among FBS teams with 145 YPG through the air. Fortunately for the Gators, running back Mike Gillislee (615 rushing yards, 7 TDs) is an emerging star and has deserves most of the credit for the Gators averaging 27.8 PPG (65th nationally) and 378.3 YPG (82nd in total offense). The Florida defense is also a very stingy unit, ranking 6th in scoring defense with 12.3 PPG allowed and 13th in total defense with 297.2 YPG allowed.
South Carolina vs. Florida Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
South Carolina Gamecocks +3.5
@ Florida Gators -3.5
Over 41.5 (-110)
Under 41.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
South Carolina vs. Florida Pick:
South Carolina has a 7-0 record ATS in their last 7 games against winning teams, a 7-3 record ATS in their last 10 road games and a 6-0 record ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Gators are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 SEC games, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall, but only 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 home games. The under is 9-3 in South Carolina’s last 12 games against winning teams. The under is 4-0 in Florida’s last 4 home games, 6-2 in their last 8 games overall and 6-1 in their last 7 games on grass. In head-to-head play, South Carolina is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings with Florida and the home team is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
These two teams are very similarly built around defense and a strong running game, and with two of best defenses in the country as well as two top running backs, this figures to be a ball-control type of game with neither team likely to throw the ball often. South Carolina has the edge in terms of the passing game when they do take to the air, with quarterback Connor Shaw (910 yards passing, 9 TDs, 4 INTs) are very efficient, if unspectacular signal caller. With no obvious defensive weakness for either team, the quarterback who is more productive and experienced is Shaw and that gives the Gamecocks the edge in this game. South Carolina lost a game last week to LSU that they should have won, and it is difficult to see the Gamecocks dropping two in a row even in the tough environment down in the Swamp. Spurrier and his team know how to win on the road in the SEC, take South Carolina here.
PICK = South Carolina +3.5