Alabama vs. South Carolina Betting Odds & Guide: Expect Crimson Tide to Roll Gamecocks?

Alabama vs. South Carolina Betting Odds & Guide: Expect Crimson Tide to Roll Gamecocks? article feature image
Credit:

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Major Tennison

  • Looking to bet on Alabama at South Carolina on Saturday?
  • Our experts have you covered, from our projected odds to positional mismatches and analysis.

Alabama at South Carolina: Betting Odds & Pick

  • Odds: Alabama -25
  • Over/Under: 61.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Columbia, S.C.

The first marquee afternoon CBS game of the season is Saturday, when Alabama travels to South Carolina as a huge favorite.

The Gamecocks will roll out true freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski, who looked good against Charleston Southern last week but now faces one of the deepest and most athletic defenses in the nation.

Market Report for Alabama vs. South Caroilna

It’s been all Alabama at the ticket window, but you wouldn’t know it by the point spread movement. In fact, despite Bama seeing 80% of bets and 83% of money, this line has barely moved from its opener.

After settling at -25.5 Sunday evening, the number has barely changed, with most of the market now displaying either a -25 or -25.5.

After a bit of early disagreement on the total, the general trend has been upward, with most books going from around 60 to the current 61.5. That movement is in line with the 62% of bets and 67% of money landing on the over. — Danny Donahue

What Should We Expect from South Carolina Offense?

It’s tough to predict what you’re going to get from the South Carolina passing attack with a true freshman quarterback under center in Ryan Hilinski.

The Gamecocks had a plus passing attack last year but lost star receiver Deebo Samuel. The No. 1 man on the outside this year is Bryan Edwards, but Bama corner Trevon Diggs can take him away.

I think coach Will Muschamp will have to be conservative with his raw QB and rely on his two talented backs, Rico Dowdle and Clemson transfer Travien Feaster.

South Carolina did play a weak FCS opponent so take this with a grain of salt, but the Gamecocks lead the nation at 9.0 yards per carry on the season (and their backfield duo averaged a solid 5.5 yards a pop against UNC). I don’t expect them to go bonkers, but they can have some success on the ground. — Stuckey

week 2-college football-betting-picks-odds-dan rubenstein
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Will Muschamp

Could losing quarterback Jake Bentley actually be an upgrade for South Carolina? Hilinski was 24 of 30 for 282 yards and had 2 TD’s in his first start vs. Charleston Southern.

The Gamecocks set a program record for total yards last week at 775, leading to a yards per play differential of +2.75 through two games.

Look for Hilinski to target the Alabama linebackers and makes plays on the ground. Per Football Outsiders, Alabama is 122nd in passing downs line yards, a metric used to gauge the success rate of the defensive line. The Tide are banged up at linebacker after losing star Dylan Moses in the preseason.

The freshman quarterback for the Gamecocks may also have some time to throw, as the Crimson Tide are just 52nd in sack rate through games against Duke and New Mexico State. — Collin Wilson

What About the SC Defense?

It’s tough to expect more than 20 points from South Carolina if everything goes right, so the question about whether or not it can cover comes down to which defense shows up.

Will it be the one that held North Carolina to 9 points through three quarters or the one that let Tar Heels true freshman QB Sam Howell lead two 90-plus yard TD drives in the fourth quarter to pull out an upset win?

There are some pieces on the defense, including a number of seniors along the defensive line and both linebackers returning.

The defense as a whole is also much healthier as of now than the version that was decimated by injuries last year, but the run defense remains questionable, and it remains to be seen whether or not their big corners can keep up with Bama’s unrelenting speed at receiver on the outside. Can anybody?

If South Carolina can’t generate pressure, it could be another long day for a defense against perhaps the best passing attack in the country. — Stuckey

How We’re Betting This Game

Our Action Network projections make this game Alabama -27.5, giving no real value on a dead number past -25.

I will be looking for any South Carolina number at +27 or better, which may come before kick on Saturday. One big advantage for the Gamecocks is special teams, as Saban said in his weekly presser.

The Gamecocks were No. 7 in Special Teams S&P+ last season, returning their place kicker, punter, and punt returner.

Look for South Carolina to keep some pressure off freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski and for the special teams to play a role in keeping the Gamecocks inside this big number. — Collin Wilson

Collin’s Pick: South Carolina at +27 or better

The biggest question in this game is what can a true freshman quarterback do against Nick Saban? That remains to be seen, as I don’t think we can take too much from a start against Charleston Southern, although that should at least give Hilinksi some confidence.

Well, out of curiosity, I looked back at all of the times Saban has faced a true freshman QB in his career. It’s happened 11 other times, most recently in last year’s national championship against Trevor Lawrence. Surprisingly, Saban’s teams are just 7-4 SU and only 3-8 ATS.

It’s not a major sample size or something you can take too much from, but don’t bet Alabama simply because it’s facing a true freshman QB.

I tend to agree with Collin here and think this is a pass unless it reaches +27 or +28. — Stuckey

Other Trends & Angles

There is plenty of history between Will Muschamp and Nick Saban.

Muschamp served as defensive coordinator under Saban at LSU through 2004 before both moved onto the Miami Dolphins. Muschamp came back to the college ranks in 2006, with Saban to follow in 2007.

Here’s a list of Saban-led Alabama teams against Muschamp led teams as defensive coordinator or head coach. — Stuckey

  • 2007: Auburn 17, Alabama 10
  • 2009: Alabama 37, Texas 21 (BCS Championship)
  • 2011: Alabama 38, Florida 10
  • 2014: Alabama 42, Florida 21
  • 2015: Alabama 29, Auburn 13

Per Bet Labs, Alabama is 13-6 against the spread as a 13-point favorite or more as a road team in SEC play since 2011. Since 2007, as a double-digit favorite against the SEC, the Tide are 35-19 ATS.

In non-conference games as double-digit favorites, Bama is only 17-24 ATS. — John Ewing

 

How would you rate this article?