After settling for a pair of moral victories, the South Carolina Gamecocks finally got into the win column last week – and that momentum could be critical as they host the Auburn Tigers on Saturday. The Gamecocks (1-2 SU, 2-0-1 ATS) are home ’dogs against an Auburn squad (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) that narrowly escaped with a 30-28 win over Arkansas last time out.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
The Tigers have opened as 3-point favorites in the first meeting between the teams since 2014; Auburn is 5-2 ATS all-time vs South Carolina. The total opened at 50, the lowest of this head-to-head matchup since 2010.
Auburn News & Notes
After getting curb-stomped 27-6 by national championship contender Georgia in their second game of the SEC season, the Tigers needed a bounce-back in a major way – and it nearly didn’t happen. Auburn squandered a 17-point second-quarter lead and needed a 39-yard field goal from Anders Carlson with seven seconds remaining to fend off the Razorbacks.
The Tigers know they’ll need to take their offense to another level if they hope to compete with the major conference players – and for that to happen, they’ll need more from quarterback Bo Nix. He has completed just 56.8 percent of his passes through three games, compiling just 597 yards and four touchdowns. Eighty percent of Nix’s completions have gone to just three receivers.
South Carolina News & Notes
Losses to nationally ranked Tennessee and Florida to open the season came with positives on offense but issues to address on the defensive end, after the Gamecocks allowed 69 total points in those two games. Those concerns were alleviated – at least in part – last weekend, as South Carolina held the Commodores to just 249 total yards and a 1-for-11 success rate on third down.
One key for South Carolina against Auburn will be establishing a run game that rumbled for 289 yards on a 7.4 yards per carry average against Vanderbilt. Kevin Harris was the catalyst, racking up 171 yards (88 of them coming on one run) and a pair of touchdowns; the Tigers are in the bottom half nation-wide in rushing yards allowed per game (155.3) but are holding teams to 3.97 yards per carry.
Betting Pick: South Carolina +3 (-110)
We have no confidence in the Auburn offense at this point, and South Carolina should be able to make inroads through its strong ground game. Look for the Gamecocks to give the Tigers all they can handle.