Missouri vs South Carolina Odds, Prediction: Why to Bet Saturday’s Under

Missouri vs South Carolina Odds, Prediction: Why to Bet Saturday’s Under article feature image

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: MarShawn Lloyd (South Carolina)

  • The Missouri Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks face off in an SEC showdown on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Gamecocks enter as short favorites in this matchup, but Dan Keegan sees betting value on the over/under.
  • Check out Keegan's pick and betting preview for this SEC matchup below.

Missouri vs South Carolina Odds

Saturday, Oct. 29
4 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Missouri Odds
-115o / -105u
South Carolina Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Missouri Tigers finish October play looking back on a season of “what-ifs,” having dropped three different conference games by a single score.

They head to Columbia, SC, to take on a South Carolina team that has no such qualms. Shane Beamer’s outfit is 5-2 and riding high after consecutive wins against Kentucky and Texas A&M, and the Gamecocks have earned a spot in the AP Top 25 Poll.

The Tigers have one of the most underrated defenses in the country and have been struggling all year to move the ball with consistency on offense. The under has cashed in every Missouri game since Week 1.

Is the under the play again, or do the Tigers have enough juice to take advantage of a good, but flawed, South Carolina team? Or is there a better bet to find in the matchup? Let’s take a look.

Missouri Tigers

It’s hard to overstate just how far Missouri’s defense has rebounded in one season. Last year’s group was one of the worst in the entire Power Five level, finishing 97th in defensive SP+.

New coordinator Blake Baker has turned this ship around entirely in 2022, ranking 27th in SP+, a metric that uses prior year data and other factors to give it stability. In metrics that only focus on in-season data against FBS opponents, Missouri’s defense is 14th overall in EPA Margin and fifth overall in Beta_Rank.

The unit has been strong at all levels. A deep defensive line rotation ranks 21st in PFF Pass Rush Grading and is 10th in Rushing Success Rate. The secondary is talented and chock-full of NFL prospects and the Tigers rank 17th in EPA defense/pass.

They stand you up in the red zone (18th in Finishing Drives) and create Havoc — ninth in the country in that metric. (That’s a matchup to note — South Carolina’s offense is susceptible to the negative play, ranking 126th in preventing Havoc).

The one Achilles heel — you can rip off big runs, as the defense is 129th against explosive rushes. That's something South Carolina will certainly try to exploit, although it is not its biggest weapon (74th).

The offense, though? That’s a whole different story. The offensive line has been one of the worst in the Power Five, creating very little room for the tailbacks or giving quarterback Brady Cook any time to throw.

The only area in which Missouri’s offense is not in the bottom echelon of FBS, let alone Power Five teams, is passing explosiveness.

On the very rare occasions where Cook has time to throw, he has connected with wide receivers Dominic Lovett and Luther Burden for big gains, ranking 37th in Explosiveness on pass plays.

The bad news for the Tigers is that the Gamecocks' strategy is to sacrifice some successful plays to prevent big passing plays, ranking 95th in Defensive Success Rate, but second overall in preventing explosives.

Missouri is not prepared on a down-to-down basis to capitalize on this approach.

South Carolina Gamecocks

What a dream season it has been so far for Beamer and his Gamecocks. While the blueprint isn’t perfect, it’s hard to argue with the results — the program is ranked and looking at another bowl appearance.

The vibes are sky high right now in Columbia.

Williams-Brice Stadium was rocking last Saturday under the primetime lights, and the euphoric crowd never let up. Texas A&M’s offensive line was flagged for eight false start penalties in the contest.

I expect crowd noise and SC’s dangerous pass rush — 34th in PFF grading — to be a big factor in keeping Missouri behind the sticks. 

The Gamecocks' defense is sturdy against the pass — ranking 22nd in EPA — but it can be had on the ground, as it checks in at 112th in EPA/Rush.

As detailed above, the Gamecocks do sacrifice some successful plays in the name of preventing big ones, and overall, that approach has been successful in getting opponents off the field.

South Carolina is 24th in Parker Fleming’s ECKEL rate, meaning it's one of the best in the country in preventing scoring opportunities.

The offense has been similarly one-sided. Spencer Rattler is having the worst year of his career so far, averaging only 209 yards per contest. He has made 11 Big Time Throws to 14 Turnover Worthy Plays on the season. 

Rattler really struggles when pressured. These numbers from PFF highlight the split:

PlaysComp%Y/AttBTTTWPNFL Rating
Kept Clean14778%9.294103.7

Most college quarterbacks are going to struggle under pressure, but Rattler’s numbers are drastic, and that's an area Missouri’s strong pass rush can exploit to get off the field. 

South Carolina’s rushing attack has been excellent on the season. MarShawn Lloyd is a workhorse; his 91 carries have gone for an average of 5.7 yards each.

The Gamecocks' offense is 40th in EPA/Rush compared to only 89th in EPA/Pass. It will be interesting to see how Lloyd runs against a Missouri front that is strong overall, but can be had for long gainers.

One area to monitor is special teams: South Carolina has excellent special teams and has created some big plays on the season — a kick return touchdown against Texas A&M, blocked kicks against Georgia State and more.

Missouri has an overall strong special teams unit, but has been prone to some glitches, with a few missed field goals and two big punt returns allowed already.

South Carolina could create a score or a scoring opportunity with its special teams.

Missouri vs South Carolina Matchup Analysis

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

Missouri Offense vs. South Carolina Defense
Rush Success110123
Line Yards103116
Pass Success8850
Pass Blocking**7834
Finishing Drives8587
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

South Carolina Offense vs. Missouri Defense
Rush Success3810
Line Yards5212
Pass Success9526
Pass Blocking**5621
Finishing Drives4418
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling8267
PFF Coverage33118
SP+ Special Teams582
Seconds per Play26.9 (79)26.9 (78)
Rush Rate56.9% (46)53.2% (67)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Missouri vs South Carolina Betting Pick

This line opened with South Carolina favored by 5.5 and now sits around 4. It’s a close matchup, as each team has some impenetrable strengths, but a few weak spots, as well.

South Carolina will let opponents try to string long drives together, but Missouri has not shown any capability to do so.

Missouri’s defense is fast, swarming and creates a ton of Havoc, which South Carolina is susceptible to.

According to Clark Brooks @SECStatCat on Twitter, Missouri and South Carolina are the two worst SEC offenses in preventing negative plays — Missouri at 14.98 plays per game that lose yardage and SC at 11.55.

I see both of these defenses posting one of their best days of the year. Points will be at a premium, and the coaches will play slowly and conservatively in such a tight matchup.

I’ll take the under 46.5, and I will play it down to 45.

Pick: Under 46.5 (Play to 45)

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