The No. 1 team in the nation will have its hands full on the road on Saturday in Columbia, where the South Carolina Gamecocks will look to knock off the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Cats clearly have one of the most talented teams in the country, and there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they are going to be a top seed in the NCAA Tournament if they keep up at this pace for the rest of the year. Save for a sort of fluky defeat at the Indiana Hoosiers, Kentucky is a totally clean team this year, and as we saw last year in March Madness when it was able to go on a fantastic run to the Final Four, it is going to take a heck of an effort to knock this team off any night. What’s happening now though, is that the Wildcats are starting to cover some spreads, which they weren’t able to do in the past thanks to the absolutely humongous numbers that they had to face on a regular basis. The team has covered three in a row, an in all three games, it was able to win by at least a dozen points, including stomping the Tennessee Volunteers by 25 at Rupp Arena during the week. The problem with this one is that it is going to take yet another Herculean effort to be able to beat what is going to be a huge number on the road, something that is generally disastrous, especially in the SEC.
It has been a frustrating season for the Gamecocks to say the least. They are still looking for their 10th win of the season, and they only have one win since a January 3rd triumph over the South Carolina State Bulldogs. The conference schedule has been brutal to say the least, and what we are finding out about this team is that it doesn’t have the depth to be able to stick with some of the best teams in the nation. The 66 points scored in defeat at the Florida Gators on Thursday night marked the best offensive output for SC during the conference slate, and it is clear that that point total isn’t going to get the job done on Saturday against a team with this much talent. The Gamecocks just aren’t all that deep, and they aren’t all that talented, and beyond Malik Cooke, there really aren’t any players that can be counted on night in and night out for big games.
The Final Word: Here’s what we will say about the Cocks, though: They are covering some spreads. Just like Kentucky, they have covered three in a row, and thanks to as bad of a record as they have, the Gamecocks are clearly going to be catching at least two touchdowns in this game. It is Super Bowl weekend, and this game is like the Super Bowl to the Gamecocks, and we expect them to at least put up a fight against Kentucky on Saturday.
Kentucky Wildcats @ South Carolina Gamecocks Pick: South Carolina Gamecocks
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.