(6-2, 5-3 ATS)
South Carolina Gamecocks
(6-2, 4-4 ATS)
The eyes of the SEC might be glued to the battle between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers during the day, but once the day turns to night, the scene will shift to Columbia, where the South Carolina Gamecocks will engage in a crucial NCAA football betting battle with the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The Hogs really fell victim to a horrifying schedule all season long. It can be argued that no team in major college football has played a more devastating slate, as Arkansas has already had to play at Georgia, at Auburn, home against Alabama, on a neutral site against Texas A&M, and now at South Carolina. In spite of the fact that the schedule has been rugged to say the least, the Razorbacks have certainly not struggled on offense. This team is averaging 487.4 yards and 35.0 points per game. QB Ryan Mallett is one of the best pure passers in the nation and is sure to be a first round NFL Draft choice next year. He has thrown for 2,449 yards and 18 TDs against just seven picks, but he hasn’t had the ability to win the big game quite yet. Mallett is going to be hurting without WR Greg Childs in the lineup, but he’d better get used to it, as Childs is going to miss the rest of the season. WR Joe Adams is questionable with an ankle injury as well. If both can’t go, WR Jarius Wright and TE DJ Williams are the only two receivers on this team that have more than three catches for the season.
There is a real question about motivation in this game for South Carolina. At 4-2 in conference play, there is no doubt that next week’s game against the Florida Gators is for the SEC East Championship unless UF plans on losing to the Vanderbilt Commodores. Especially with that game being played in the Swamp, it is unlikely that the Gamecocks, who have also already taken on a heck of a schedule, intend on showing all that much to the Gators in a game that really only is about pride and bowl positioning. If you don’t believe that playing in Columbia is difficult though, just ask UGA, Alabama, and Tennessee, who have each lost by two scores here. QB Stephen Garcia is doing a great job of protecting the football this season, as he has completed 70.6 percent of his passes for 1,904 yards and 13 scores against seven picks. WR Alshon Jeffrey is the man to thank for all of that. The big target can just go up and catch passes that other guys can’t. He has 52 receptions for 935 yards and seven TDs. RB Marcus Lattimore is the dynamic player of the bunch, though. He has 240 receiving yards, 722 rushing yards, and a total of 13 TDs to lead the team.
The Hogs are really going to want to prove that they can win this game and keep their feint chances of winning the SEC alive. We just aren’t so certain that HC Steve Spurrier is going to get the best effort out of his team this week, and as a result, you know that we’re taking all of the points on the NCAA football odds that we can get.
College Football Free Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks +4.5