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Kentucky vs South Carolina Odds, Prediction, Pick: Expect Lots of Points in Columbia

Kentucky vs South Carolina Odds, Prediction, Pick: Expect Lots of Points in Columbia article feature image

John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: South Carolina WR Xavier Legette.

Kentucky vs South Carolina Odds

Saturday, Nov. 18
7:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Kentucky Odds
-110o / -110u
South Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

It may be Cupcake Week for most of the SEC, but Kentucky and South Carolina apparently didn’t get the invite. The Wildcats and Gamecocks are one of only two games this week that feature a matchup of SEC foes.

Pretty much everything is on the line for South Carolina in its remaining two games. The Gamecocks are 4-6 and must win out for Shane Beamer to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time in his three-year tenure in Columbia.

Kentucky (6-4) has already secured its eighth straight bowl appearance under Mark Stoops, but the Wildcats are fresh off one of the worst losses of their season in which they trailed by double digits for almost three and a half quarters.

Night games in Williams-Brice are one of the best atmospheres in college football. Is it enough to keep the Gamecocks' bowl dreams intact?

Read on for our Kentucky vs South Carolina Odds, Prediction, Pick. 

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Kentucky Wildcats

Last Saturday’s blowout loss against Alabama was the status quo for Mark Stoops’ Wildcats. Kentucky can beat the bottom of the SEC but it gets destroyed by the top tier.

All four of Kentucky’s losses are to teams with winning records, three of which were by at least three scores. Kentucky’s three SEC wins are against teams with a combined 4-17 conference record.

Devin Leary has not been the finishing piece the offense needed to propel the Wildcats up the standings. He has the worst passer rating among SEC starters versus conference competition, and he’s thrown for fewer than 160 yards in five of his last six games.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, they have one of the SEC’s best running backs in Ray Davis, whose 929 rushing yards are the second most in the conference. And he’s gotten to that number at an efficient clip. Among backs averaging at least 12 carries per game, Davis trails only Auburn’s Jarquez Hunter in the SEC with 5.8 yards per carry.

Even with allowing 100 combined points to Georgia and Alabama, Kentucky’s defensive numbers still hold up fairly well. The Wildcats are in the top half of the SEC in both total and scoring defense.

An important component to this game will be Kentucky’s ability to apply pressure on Spencer Rattler. The Wildcats were held without a sack last week against the Crimson Tide, but they had seven total sacks combined in their previous two games.

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South Carolina Gamecocks

Consecutive games against Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt were just what the doctor ordered for Beamer’s side. The Gamecocks picked up a pair of wins to halt a four-game losing streak and just need to win out to secure a bowl berth.

Spencer Rattler hasn’t quite put together the season needed to bolster his draft stock, but he enters this game against Kentucky coming off two of the best performances of his season in which he passed for 750 combined yards and five touchdowns.

The Gamecocks' passing offense has been one of the better ones in the SEC. South Carolina is third in the conference with 301.7 passing yards per game, and it features one of the country’s most exciting receivers in Xavier Legette. Legette’s 109.3 receiving yards per game are the fifth-most in the country.

A major hindrance to South Carolina’s offense has been its line. The Gamecocks have allowed the ninth-most sacks in the nation (37) and rank 118th in Havoc Allowed.

While they excel at passing the ball, their defense isn’t great at stopping it. South Carolina’s 268.4 yards passing allowed per game are the worst in the SEC. Whether or not Leary can pick it apart remains to be seen.

South Carolina’s run defense is a little better, although Jacksonville State rushed for 225 yards two weeks ago (on 57 attempts). Kentucky’s Davis has the eighth-most runs in the country of over 30 yards, something the Gamecocks have only allowed twice this season, the second-best number in the conference.

Kentucky vs South Carolina

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kentucky and South Carolina match up statistically:

Kentucky Offense vs. South Carolina Defense
Rush Success7585
Line Yards10971
Pass Success89108
Finishing Drives3846
Quality Drives8790
South Carolina Offense vs. Kentucky Defense
Rush Success12141
Line Yards12028
Pass Success4961
Finishing Drives5082
Quality Drives9188
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling7530
PFF Coverage66111
Special Teams SP+3719
Middle 88898
Seconds per Play30.5 (124)25.8 (42)
Rush Rate47.6% (107)46.9% (120)

Kentucky vs South Carolina

Betting Pick & Prediction

As the spread indicates, this game feels like a coin flip. The Gamecocks are 5-1 in November home games under Beamer, but Kentucky has yet to fall to a team with a losing record.

While Leary has struggled, if there’s a defense he’s going to flash against, it will be versus the South Carolina secondary. Davis should also find success against a Gamecocks run defense that has allowed more than 200 yards rushing in three of its last six games.

Kentucky’s offensive success will force South Carolina to match fire with fire, and the Gamecocks will turn to Rattler to throw it 35-plus times.

Both teams have surrendered at least 30 points in four of their past five conference games, and I see something similar unfolding again here.

Pick: Over 53.5 (Play to 55.5)

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