South Carolina at LSU Betting Odds & Pick: Can the Tigers Get Back on Track? (Oct. 24)
Joe Robbins, Getty Images. Pictured: Jaycee Horn
- After a week off due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Florida and now limited fans in Death Valley, LSU enters is game against South Carolina as a favorite.
- College football betting analyst Mike Ianniello previews Saturday's matchup and breaks down how to find value on the spread.
- Find out why he's backing the Gamecocks to cover as road underdogs against the Tigers below.
South Carolina at LSU Odds
|South Carolina Odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|LSU Odds||-635 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+133/-175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||55 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 7 p.m. ET|
The South Carolina Gamecocks are coming off their first victory at Auburn since 1933 and will head down to Baton Rouge looking for their third win in a row.
The LSU Tigers were off last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Florida, but hopefully they used the time to regroup, as the defending National Champions are in danger of falling to 1-3.
This game will be played under the lights at Tiger Stadium after the SEC moved the matchup to primetime, but will a quarter-full stadium provide the same intimidating atmosphere that we typically associate with a night game in Death Valley?
South Carolina Gamecocks
The South Carolina offense was horrible last season. The Gamecocks ranked 105th in the country with just 22.4 points per game, ranked 92nd in Offensive Success Rate and 117th in offensive explosiveness.
In comes Mike Bobo from Colorado State to take over offensive coordinator duties. The South Carolina offense has improved under Bobo, who brought Colorado State graduate-transfer quarterback Collin Hill with him. Hill has already found chemistry with stud receiver Shi Smith.
The Gamecocks offensive line has also been better in 2020, ranking 28th in Offensive Stuff Rate and 36th in Line Yards. South Carolina has run the ball with success this season, averaging 163 yards per game on the ground, led by sophomore Kevin Harris. Despite losing their top three leading rushers from 2019, Harris has stepped in and his 409 rushing yards are third-most in the SEC.
Besides the offensive success on the ground, a lot of South Carolina’s ability to control possession can be attributed to its third-down defense holding opponents to just a 27.66% conversion rate.
Even when teams are able to drive down the field on South Carolina, the Gamecocks are 16th in red-zone defense, and have allowed touchdowns on just 50% of red zone attempts. That’s a staple of Muschamp defenses.
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It’s no secret that LSU lost a ton of weapons on offense coming into this year, but the Tigers offense has still looked very good. While not the historically-great unit we saw last season, the Bayou Bengals are still 15th in points per game, fourth in passing yards per game and 23rd in Offensive Success Rate.
The biggest drop-off for the offense has been their ability to run the ball. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire now starring for the Kansas City Chiefs, LSU has the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game in the country.
That could present even more of an issue this week, with quarterback Myles Brennan looking unlikely to play due to a torn abdomen. That just leaves two true freshman in Max Johnson and TJ Finley as options for head coach Ed Orgeron.
Out of all the super-star talent that the defending national champions lost this offseason, the biggest loss might be Dave Aranda, the former defensive coordinator who took the head coaching job at Baylor. Bo Pelini’s unit has not been good so far.
After finishing last season 16th in Defensive Success Rate and allowing just 21.9 points per game, LSU is allowing 32.0 points per game and is 65th (out of 77 teams) in Defensive Success Rate.
The defense has allowed 380.7 passing yards per game, the second most in the country. Mississippi State set an SEC record with 623 passing yards against LSU on Sept. 26, but the Bulldogs have just two passing touchdowns since.
Matchup to Watch
This game will give us one of the best one-on-one matchups of the week in LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. against South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.
Marshall Jr. has stepped up big time following the loss of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. He has totaled 424 yards on 21 catches and seven touchdowns this season and has accounted for 30% of LSU’s total yards and half of its offensive touchdowns.
The task of shutting down Marshall Jr. will fall on South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn. Horn, the son of former NFL receiver Joe Horn, is coming off a two interception and four pass deflection afternoon where he held Auburn star receiver Seth Williams to just 4 receptions on 14 targets for 74 yards and no touchdowns.
Horn was named National Defensive Player of the Week last week and leads the country in total passes defended.
LSU-South Carolina Betting Pick
LSU ranks 55th in Offensive Explosiveness this year and its inability to generate big plays could be exasperated Saturday night as the Tigers are going up against a South Carolina team that ranks 21st in Defensive Explosiveness, and has a cornerback capable of slowing down their go-to weapon.
The South Carolina defense has been excellent at getting off the field on third down, and will make things difficult for what is likely to be a true freshman quarterback for LSU.
The Gamecocks are 3-0-1 against the spread and I still don’t think the betting market has adjusted enough.
With The Action Network’s PRO Projections making this line South Carolina +1.5, there is a ton of value on South Carolina +6.5, in fact, it has the biggest projected edge on the board this weekend. I would play the Gamecocks at +4 or better in Death Valley.
There are still a few +6.5’s out there as of Thursday night, including at DraftKings.
Pick: South Carolina +6.5