South Carolina vs. Texas A&M Odds, Picks: Can Aggies Pull Away? (Saturday, October 23)

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M Odds, Picks: Can Aggies Pull Away? (Saturday, October 23) article feature image

Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured (left to right): Isaiah Spiller, Jalen Wydermyer, and Jalen Preston.

  • The South Carolina Gamecocks travel to College Station on Saturday night to take on the Texas A&M Aggies?
  • The Aggies are riding high, which might mean they're overvalued.
  • Tanner McGrath thinks they are and explains why in his full betting breakdown below.

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M Odds

Saturday, Oct. 23
7:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
South Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Texas A&M Odds
-110o / -100u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Aggies are feeling themselves right now after beating mighty Alabama in an upset thriller and following it up with an easy win and cover against Mizzou. Jimbo Fisher and company now find themselves ranked No. 17 in the nation.

Meanwhile, South Carolina hasn't been too shabby. It managed to cover against Georgia and has won two of its last three games on the way to a 4-3 record.

But the Gamecocks will face a tough test this week. The Aggies have won the last seven meetings between these two, dating back to 2014.

Given the Aggies' hot streak, they're laying almost three touchdowns in this spot. But do they have enough juice to cover the number?

South Carolina Gamecocks

The Gamecocks are frisky on defense but almost nonexistent on offense.

South Carolina ranks in the back half of the league in every meaningful offensive statistic, and they rank outside the top 100 in metrics like Rush Success, Pass Blocking, Havoc Allowed, and Finishing Drives.

Iowa State transfer Zed Noland had his chances early this season, but the Gamecocks have reverted back to sophomore Luke Doty. He hasn't been bad, completing over 60% of his passes with a 5:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

But he hasn't been good. Among quarterbacks who have dropped back at least 75 times this season, Doty ranks 105th in PFF's passing grades, making four big-time throws to four turnover-worthy plays.

He's also slightly limited because he has to perform behind an offensive line that ranks 93rd in Line Yards.

Good passing defense is something we've come to expect from South Carolina, and it hasn't been different this season. The Gamecocks rank ninth in PFF's coverage grades, and three guys have registered a PFF coverage grade above 80 this season (ED Jordan Burch, S Jaylan Foster, CB Cam Smith).

But the real strength has been the pass rush, which is one of the best in the nation. It all circles around Kingsley Enagbare, who has registered 15 quarterback hurries, 11 quarterback hits, and four sacks through seven games.

Among all college defenders who have registered at least 50 pass-rush snaps this season, Enagbare owns the best PFF pressure grade in the nation.

Highest pass-rush win rates with RPOs, screens and play-action removed in Weeks 1-7 since 2014, per @PFF:

1. Chase Young (51%, 2019)

2. Kingsley Enagbare (42%, 2021)

3. Nick Bosa (38%, 2017)

— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) October 21, 2021

Texas A&M Aggies

Zach Calzada worked some magic against Alabama but quickly came back to earth the next week.

Against Mizzou, Calzada went just 13-for-25 (52%) for 148 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Texas A&M has posted a 49.5% Passing Downs Success Rate this season, but the team posted just a 35% mark last week.

However, when a team runs for 283 yards at 6.7 yards per carry while posting a 62% Standard Downs Success Rate, it doesn't have to rely on Calzada to produce a magical victory.

Additionally, the A&M defense carries this team. Aggie opponents are averaging fewer than five yards per play this season, and Fisher's defense ranks among the top 50 teams in almost every efficiency statistic.

Plus, Texas A&M's special teams have been great, ranking 12th in SP+ ratings.

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South Carolina vs. Texas A&M Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how South Carolina and Texas A&M match up statistically:

South Carolina Offense vs. Texas A&M Defense
Rush Success10554
Line Yards9338
Pass Success6524
Pass Blocking**10457
Big Play5338
Finishing Drives1236
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Texas A&M Offense vs. South Carolina Defense
Rush Success5477
Line Yards8097
Pass Success8566
Pass Blocking**752
Big Play696
Finishing Drives8612
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling8431
Middle 88645
SP+ Special Teams1612
Plays per Minute10498
Rush Rate54.3% (68)51.1% (87)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M Betting Pick

Aggie stock has never been higher, and I'm looking to sell it in this matchup.

South Carolina will be looking to bend but not break. While Texas A&M can move the ball, they rank just 86th in Finishing Drives on offense this season while the Gamecocks rank 12th on defense.

If you can hold the Aggies to field goals instead of touchdowns, covering that 20-point spread is going to become a lot harder.

Plus, considering the Gamecocks' stifling pass defense, the Aggies will be forced to rush their way to a cover. Without explosive passing plays, it will be even harder to cover that big number.

Moreover, South Carolina's spread has triggered one of our Action PRO systems, Road Dogs Low Totals, which has a 59% win rate and 16% ROI. Grabbing a huge dog with a total as low as 45 is always a smart play.

Finally, I'm hoping to catch the Aggies sleeping in this lookahead spot before their matchup with No. 19 Auburn next week.

All-in-all, there are a lot of ways for South Carolina +20 to hit, and that's probably why sharps are all over this matchup. At the time of this writing, South Carolina is pulling just 28% of the tickets but over 50% of the handle, and the line has already moved down from SC +21.

If South Carolina is catching 19 points or more, I'll happily back the Gamecocks in College Station this Saturday.

Pick: South Carolina +20 (Play to +19)

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