South Carolina Florida State Spread Line and Bowl Predictions

This year’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, GA on Friday December 31 (7:30pm ET) will feature the 19th-ranked Gamecocks of South Carolina (9-4) from the SEC squaring off against the number 23-ranked Florida State Seminoles (9-4) from the ACC. Florida St. Both teams dropped their last game of the season to end 3-game winning streaks; with South Carolina losing to Auburn 56-17 in the SEC Championship Game on December 4 in the Georgia Dome, and the Seminoles lost by a score of 44-33 to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game on the same day. These two teams have had very similar, mirror-image type seasons, but only one can emerge victorious on Friday.

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The Gamecocks’ offense features freshman running back Marcus Lattimore, who ran for 1,198 yards and 17 touchdowns, both second in the SEC to Heisman-winning Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton. Receiver Alshon Jeffrey, with 79 receptions for 1,387 yards, is the number one target for quarterback Stephen Garcia who has completed 65.1% of his passes for 20 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. The defense is what has carried South Carolina this season however, and the Gamecocks rank number 7 in the nation in rushing defense with 102.8yards per game allowed while allowing 22.9 points per contest.

Florida St. quarterback Christian Ponder is uncertain for this game after missing the ACC Championship Game after having blood drained from his throwing elbow. If he is unable to go sophomore E.J. Manuel, who threw two interceptions against Virginia Tech, will get the nod. This means that the Seminoles will likely have to rely on a running game that averaged 170.2 yards per game during the regular season, but only ran for 53 yards against Virginia Tech, a season low. Defensively FSU allowed 19.8 points per game, ranking 24th in the nation, but against Virginia Tech they were horrendous allowing 442 total yards, almost 100 yards worse than their average of 347.9.

The Seminoles are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the SEC. The Gamecocks are 9-4 ATS when playing a team with a winning record, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The under is 11-3 in the Seminoles last 14 games against the SEC and 8-3 in their last 11 games overall. The under is 5-2 in South Carolina’s last 7 games against the ACC. South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier holds a 4-7-1 record against FSU from his tenure as the coach of the University of Florida, with his last time coaching against the Seminoles a 37-13 Florida win in 2001. FSU has won 15 out of 18 against South Carolina, including six straight contests.

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South Carolina vs. Florida St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

South Carolina Gamecocks -2.5
@ Florida St. Seminoles +2.5

Game Total:

Over 54.5 (-110)
Under 54.5 (-110)

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South Carolina vs. Florida St. Prediction for Chick-Fil-A Bowl:

Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The Gamecocks look like the superior team in this contest. South Carolina should be able to take advantage of Florida St. either playing without their starting QB, or playing against a not fully recovered version of Ponder. The Gamecocks should be able to stop a sluggish FSU running game and pound the ball enough with their own running game and the electric Lattimore to pull this one out and avenge the shellacking they suffered in their last game in the Georgia Dome.

PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – South Carolina -2.5

Over/Under Prediction – Take the under here as the trends point in that direction, and with FSU potentially missing its starting QB and South Carolina featuring a run-oriented offense and a tough defense points could be at a premium. Spurrier will resist the temptation to put the ball in the air too much with the erratic Garcia under center and stick to a conservative game plan against FSU knowing that the Seminoles will not be at full strength offensively and his own defense will negate the need for putting up a lot of points.

PREDICTION – Under 54.5