South Carolina vs. Tennessee Odds, Picks: Saturday’s Betting Value on Gamecocks (October 9)
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South Carolina vs. Tennessee Odds
|South Carolina Odds||+10.5|
|Moneyline||+320 / -425|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Don’t look now, but Josh Heupel’s run-it-up offense might be back. The Volunteers looked like a successful SEC team last week against Missouri, which is very much not a successful SEC team.
Meanwhile, the Gamecocks roll into Rocky Top coming off an ugly win over Troy.
Saturday’s upcoming battle between two first-year head coaches seemed like a game you had to ask to be put on at the bar just two weeks ago, but after this past weekend, I need to know if Tennessee is real, or if it just got to play Mizzou early.
A win would mark three straight victories in this series for Tennessee. And looking ahead, whoever does lose this game may be on the fast track to losing bowl eligibility.
Is Saturday going to feel like 98 in Knoxville? Or was last week just a trojan horse to get South Carolina above 9.5?
South Carolina vs. Tennessee Betting Preview
South Carolina Offense
Sophomore quarterback Luke Doty made some leaps last week against Troy, completing 20-of-34 passes while throwing for 255 yards.
It’s been tough sledding for the Gamecocks’ offense with a young quarterback and an intense schedule, but last week was a positive.
The Gamecocks are just now starting to get their offense working how they’d like.
While you could look at rankings and statistics to see they are doing decently well, do not overlook the schedule they’ve faced.
The Gamecocks have played three of the top-10 teams in total defense in four games (No. 1 Georgia, No. 5 Troy and No. 10 Kentucky). Some people might forget that no team has scored more points than the Gamecocks against Georgia this year, but not me.
People aren’t giving this South Carolina team the respect they deserve and I think that might change after this week.
South Carolina Defense
South Carolina’s defense ranks 23rd in the country in scoring, having allowed just one opponent to reach the 20-point mark. It also ranks first in the SEC with 14 turnovers and top-25 in the nation in total defense.
For Saturday’s game, one thing to remember is the absence of starting defensive back R.J. Roderick in the first half. Roderick will have to sit out the first two quarters against Tennessee after being ejected for targeting in the third quarter of the Troy game.
The Gamecocks biggest test this week will be stopping the run, though.
They’ve allowed a 100-yard rusher in their last two games and gave up over five yards per carry against both SEC schools they’ve played.
If they can’t stop the dominant Tennessee run game — which averages 255 rush yards per game — things could get out of hand quickly.
The Volunteers offense displays the Heupel style that over bettors have come to know and love.
They’ve scored 34 points or more in all but one contest and rank 10th in the nation with 40.8 points per game.
Tennessee comes into this game at 3-2 after a dominant 62-24 win at Missouri. It’s hard to look at last week’s win and see anything other than the Vols dominating South Carolina on Saturday.
However, they were a bad matchup for Missouri, which boasts one of the nation’s worst rush defenses. Heupel feeds off the rushing attack and there was no way the Tigers could stop it.
I think the Gamecocks will be able to delay Tennessee and get big stops when they need to. Tennessee’s offense ranks 23rd in red-zone efficiency while the SC defense is third.
So far this season, the Vols are allowing just 21.8 points per game and rank 24th nationally in run defense.
Last week, Tennessee surrendered 30 rush attempts for 74 yards (2.5 yards per rush) while the pass defense gave up a completion percentage of 61.4% and relinquished 322 yards through the air.
Tennessee has allowed 520 rushing yards (104.0 yards per outing) and six rushing touchdowns this season. It also has given up six touchdowns through the air and 235.2 yards per outing (90th in the country).
South Carolina vs. Tennessee Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how South Carolina and Tennessee match up statistically:
South Carolina Offense vs. Tennessee Defense
Tennessee Offense vs. South Carolina Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Eight of the last nine games in this series have been decided by one possession and seven of those eight have been by three points or less.
The under has hit in four of the last five meetings between these teams and 23 times in the Gamecocks’ last 34 games following a straight-up win.
South Carolina vs. Tennessee Betting Pick
South Carolina will need to improve its offense if it wants to keep up with Tennessee, which is easier said than done on the road. But I also think these Gamecocks are criminally overrated.
In my opinion, this line is inflated due to a shaky game vs. Troy from South Carolina.
But that’s OK this week. South Carolina will step up on both sides of the ball as regression arrives for Heupel and Tennessee.