Texas A&M at South Carolina Betting Odds & Pick: Back the Aggies on the Road
Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: Israel Mukuamu.
- The Texas A&M Aggies will make the trek to Columbia on Saturday to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in an SEC matchup.
- Despite entering the games as significant underdogs, South Carolina has a chance to keep the game close, according to BJ Cunningham.
- Cunningham breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick ahead of kickoff.
Texas A&M at South Carolina Odds
|Texas A&M Odds||-10 [BET NOW]|
|South Carolina Odds||+10 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-358/+275 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||58.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
For those who may not have noticed, Texas A&M has a legitimate shot at the College Football Playoff. It’s lost only once, which came at second-ranked Alabama, and the rest of its schedule is very favorable. However, the Aggies need to give their full focus to upset-minded South Carolina on Saturday.
The Gamecocks are coming off a bye after a terrible performance at LSU, which saw them fall to 2-3. However, this will be only their third home game of the season. The last time they were in Williams-Brice Stadium, they pulled off a 30-22 upset over then-No. 15 Auburn. So, Will Muschamp will have his team primed for the Aggies in Columbia.
Texas A&M Aggies
Kellen Mond has the Aggies’ offense firing on all cylinders. The senior is having the best season of his career throwing the ball. He’s averaging 8.0 yards per attempt, which is over a yard higher than last season. That has led Texas A&M to the 15th-best offense in terms of passing success. However, it hasn’t been very explosive, as it’s 65th in passing explosiveness. That was the big concern coming into the season; the Aggies didn’t boast many explosive receivers.
Over the past two years, the offensive line was a major issue in College Station, allowing a whopping 69 sacks. However, with four starters back in 2020, it has drastically improved and allowed only two sacks through its first six games.
Isaiah Spiller and the run game has also been a real strength for the Aggies. The sophomore is averaging a staggering 6.0 yards per carry. They’ll have a big advantage on the ground on Saturday, as the Gamecocks rank 94th in Defensive Rushing Success.
If Texas A&M is going to finish the season undefeated, it’ll have to improve on the defensive side of the ball. The Aggies rank 11th in the SEC in terms of yards per point at 12.8. They’ve been really good against the run so far, allowing only 3.4 yards per attempt, which was their projected area of strength heading into the season.
The main issues for Texas A&M have come in the secondary; it’s allowing a whopping 8.5 yards per attempt. Coming into the season, the cornerback position was a concern, as the Aggies started a freshman and a junior college transfer at both spots.
They’ve struggled to limit the explosive plays, ranking 64th in defensive passing explosiveness. That may be an issue against South Carolina quarterback Collin Hill and company on Saturday. The senior is throwing the ball for 8.2 yards per attempt his last three starts.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Hill has taken a step back in 2020, throwing the ball for only 6.9 yards per attempt. However, the senior has been much more effective over the past three games in limited pass attempts (8.2 yards per attempt). He holds a great connection with senior wideout Shi Smith, who has 22 more catches than any other Gamecock receiver. Hill and Smith will need to keep their solid connection going on Saturday if the Gamecocks want to pull off the upset.
New offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has made a big change over the past three games. The Gamecocks are much more focused on establishing the run.
They’ve run the ball on 51.4% of their plays, which is an increase from 45% against Tennessee and Florida. So far, the change has seen great success, as sophomore running back Kevin Harris is averaging 6.55 yards per carry in his last three games. For the Gamecocks to be successful on Saturday, they are going to have to run the ball and control the clock while keeping Mond on the sidelines.
The defensive side of the ball has been an issue for South Carolina in 2020. It ranks in the bottom half of college football in almost every major category and has struggled against both the run and the pass.
The defensive line lost Javon Kinlaw to the NFL but has two five-star recruits who need to increase their level of play if the Gamecocks are going to slow down Texas A&M on Saturday. The Gamecocks have really struggled to create Havoc as well, only racking up 10 sacks and nine turnovers on the season.
The strength of the South Carolina defense was supposed to be in its secondary. It brought back a ton of experience, but so far, it’s been average at best, allowing 7.9 yards per attempt.
LSU moved the ball at will in South Carolina’s last game, averaging 7.21 yards per play. Will Muschamp’s defense is going to need to drastically improve if it’s going to stay in this game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
With the improvements on the offensive side of the ball and in the running game, South Carolina has a shot at pulling off the upset in Columbia. Texas A&M’s secondary has been average at best and may struggle with the Gamecocks’ ground attack.
I only have Texas A&M projected at -3.96 favorites, so I think there’s some value on the Gamecocks at +9.5.
Pick: South Carolina +9.5 (down to +8)