Auburn at South Carolina Betting Odds & Pick: Will the Tigers Luck Run Out in Columbia? (Saturday, Oct. 17)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images. Pictured: Jammie Robinson
- The Auburn Tigers will travel northeast on Saturday to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in an SEC conference matchup.
- The Tigers nearly fell last week at the hands of Arkansas, so they could be entering this matchup in some trouble.
- Check out Reed Wallach's full betting breakdown with updated odds below.
Auburn at South Carolina Odds
|Auburn Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|South Carolina Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-148/+120 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||53.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
On Saturday, No. 15 Auburn takes to the road, heading to Columbia, S.C. for a matchup with former Tigers assistant Will Muschamp and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Auburn Tigers may be ranked inside the top 20 at 2-1, but it’s hard to get a read on them after last week’s controversial win over Arkansas. Off a blowout loss to Georgia, War Eagle squandered a 21-point lead and escaped with a 30-28 victory as 13-point favorites against the Razorbacks.
Now, the team is trying to get healthy and heads to South Carolina as 3.5-point chalk. Will the team’s good fortune run out on Saturday?
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Auburn is battling injuries all over the roster, and the depth chart is going to tell a lot when it is released ahead of Saturday’s game.
Notably, senior defensive end Big Kat Bryant sat out last Saturday along with running back Shaun Shivers, and their status is up in the air for this one as of writing, but head coach Gus Malzahn is hopeful both players can suit up. However, senior linebacker K.J. Britt is expected to remain sidelined.
Injuries have played a role in Auburn’s slow start, but you also can’t overlook the regression from quarterback Bo Nix.
Nix is hovering around the nation’s average on pass play success, but there are still some issues with the sophomore signal-caller. For one, Nix is still not pumping the ball downfield. Nix is averaging only six yards per pass attempt and completing just 56% of his passes.
While Nix has two trusty receivers in Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz, Auburn is not airing it out nor has it been efficient. To make matters even more pedestrian, the Tigers could be without wide receiver Eli Stove again on Saturday.
Against a strong South Carolina run defense that allows just over three yards per carry and has been able to contain explosive rushes, Auburn is hoping freshman running back Tank Bigsby can put up similar numbers to his breakout performance against Arkansas.
Bigbsy rushed for 146 yards on more than seven yards per carry in place of Shivers. However, South Carolina has shown it can hold the line against the run, and that will put the ball back in Nix’s hands if it can replicate its early-season success.
South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina grabbed its first victory last Saturday over a COVID-19 stricken Vanderbilt team, 41-7. While it was a blowout, South Carolina is not going to find itself in many shootouts. The Gamecocks take their time on offense, ranking 61st in the nation in seconds per play and a pedestrian 43% Success Rate on offense.
This Gamecocks offense is going to lean on its sophomore running back Kevin Harris to set the tone for the unit. Harris has posted back-to-back 100-yard running games and his play allows SC to control the pace and field position battle. In each of the first three games, South Carolina has won the time of possession battle.
The Gamecock offense has dominated time of possession with its strong run game but also with its ability to get off the field on third down on defense. Muschamp’s defense has the No. 3 opponent third-down conversion rate at 19.3%.
Matched up with an Auburn offense that has struggled to extend drives on third down — a mild 40% — South Carolina can get to its bread-and-butter once again. The game plan is going to be simple: Get off the field on D, control the clock and field position on offense, and make Nix drive deep down the field.
The Gamecocks have done a great job at generating Havoc against two strong SEC teams in Tennessee and Florida before running amuck against Vandy. This is a defense that can apply pressure, as seen through their Havoc rate of 18% through three games, that should be able to keep the Auburn run game in check and put pressure on Nix to make plays. South Carolina’s defense has a rush success of 47% this season, above the nation’s average.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
Auburn skated by Kentucky with some turnover luck, got smacked by Georgia, and escaped against Arkansas, and I think its luck runs out on Saturday. In what I project as a low scoring game — I have the total at 49 points — I buy that South Carolina will be able to establish its offense against a banged-up secondary and an Auburn defense that has not gotten a strong push to date.
Make sure to keep an eye on the Auburn injury report ahead of game time, as I do lean the under as well, and if the defense comes back fully healthy, it may be tough sledding for either offense to score, making the under a stronger play.
Ultimately, catching anywhere between three and 3.5, I will be on South Carolina to cover the short home number. I’ll also sprinkle some on the moneyline above +125, as I think Auburn’s inefficient offense gets exposed against a strong South Carolina defense that should be able to get to Nix.
Last point: Auburn’s lack of red-zone execution may catch up with it. The Tigers are converting on only 50% of their trips inside the 20, and with points coming at a premium, that could loom large for the Tigers.
Pick: South Carolina +3; Lean Under 51