NCAA Football Betting Favorite: South Carolina -9.5
Last year’s regular season contest between Auburn and South Carolina was a battle all the way to the end. Auburn then blasted South Carolina 56-17 in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers are without Cam Newton and most of their stars from last year’s title team. Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks are looking to make some major noise, and maybe even become a part of the national title conversation this year.
Auburn opened the season by squeaking out a home win over Utah State. The Tigers rebounded to knock off Mississippi State in week two. Clemson got the best of them a couple weeks ago, but they feasted on Florida Atlantic last weekend. Clearly, this isn’t the same team they were last season. While last year’s team was special, this Auburn team appears to be nothing more than a pretty good SEC team.
Michael Dyer is the star on the Auburn offense. Dyer averages 6.8 yards per carry, and the Tigers will need a big effort from him this weekend. Barrett Trotter has done a solid job managing the offense, but he isn’t a big play maker at the quarterback spot. The biggest problem for Auburn so far this year has been their defense. This unit is allowing 478 yards of total offense each game. They rank 112th out of 120 teams in the nation in rushing defense.
Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina team hasn’t been spectacular so far this year, but they are 4-0. The Gamecocks will need to clean up their mistakes as they go deeper into SEC action. Stephen Garcia has been miserable so far this season at the quarterback spot. Garcia is a senior and he has gotten better each season in the past, but he has already thrown seven interception and just three touchdowns this year. Alshon Jeffery is one of the best receivers in the nation, but he hasn’t been touching the ball much this season. Luckily for South Carolina, they have a star running back in Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore has been doing the heavy lifting for this offense. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, and he already has eight rushing touchdowns.
The South Carolina defense has been very opportunistic so far this year. The Gamecocks defense single-handedly won the game against Georgia with two defensive touchdowns. The team is giving up 26 points per game, but they do rank 23rd in the nation in total defense. This is a fairly young defense that should continue to improve as the season moves along.
Expect Lattimore and the Gamecocks running attack to run wild in this one. Auburn should be able to put up some points as well. The over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Free College Football Pick: Auburn/South Carolina over 59.5
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