South Carolina Betting Odds Preview
South Carolina has not experienced the same kind of success under head coach Steve Spurrier as Florida did. The Gamecocks have had some chances in recent seasons, losing the SEC title game three years ago, and finishing a game out of first in the East Division the last two seasons, but so far, under the ol' ball coach, they've fallen short. This year, once again, hopes are high in Columbia. But what will make this year any different than the previous eight?
South Carolina only lost two games last year - at LSU and at Florida. The Gamecocks started 6-0, rising to No. 3 in the polls, and had visions of a December Saturday night in Hot-lanta. But SC then lost a tough one at Baton Rouge by two points, then got blown out down in Gainesville. The Gamecocks then won their last four games, capped by an upset of Clemson in the Valley, and they won their bowl game, beating Michigan in the Outback Bowl 33-28. South Carolina finished 7-4-2 ATS last year, 4-2-1 ATS as double-digit favorites, and 2-0-1 ATS as underdogs.
So they were a good bet in almost any situation. This year SC returns seven starters on offense, not to mention a pair of QBs who combined for a 27/9 TD/INT ratio last year, and four on the offensive line. That line, however, gave up 38 sacks last year, so improvement might be needed from that unit. Defensively, though, just five starters are back; fortunately, one of them is monster DE Jadeveon Clowney. But they'll have to replace three starting linebackers. This year's schedule isn't the most intimidating, but it's no walk in the park, either.
The Gamecocks open at North Carolina, then jump right into SEC play with a game that might decide who wins the East, at Georgia. After that SC gets three winnable games vs. Vandy, Central Florida, and Kentucky, but then plays three road games in a row at Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri. Mississippi State then comes in for the Homecoming game, followed by a week off, followed by a home date with the Gators. Two weeks later South Carolina hosts Clemson in the Palmetto Bowl. The big plus is that the Gamecocks miss the Big Three out of the SEC West, Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M. Maybe they’ll hook up with one of them in Atlanta on December 7.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000