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South Carolina Betting Odds Preview

Even though they didn't win a division or conference title the Gamecocks are coming off one of the best seasons in program history. They won 11 games for the third year in a row, basically came about a field goal away from playing in the SEC championship game, beat Clemson again, won a bowl, and finished No. 4 in the rankings.

If there had been a four-team College Football Playoff last year South Carolina might have made it. This year the Gamecocks have to replace some key people, including the top overall pick in the NFL draft and their starting quarterback, but the goal remains the same; win the SEC East.

South Carolina Odds to Win SEC: 5/1 at Bovada
South Carolina Odds to Win College Football Championship: 33/1 at Bovada
South Carolina Regular Season Win Total: 9.5 at Bovada
South Carolina Betting Props: Mike Davis to Win Heisman 28/1 at Bovada

South Carolina opened last year with a win over North Carolina, then lost a tough game at Georgia. The Gamecocks then won four in a row, handing Central Florida its only loss of the season in the process, but in the game that really came back to haunt them they got upset at Tennessee on a late field goal. South Carolina then won its last six games, topping, among others, Missouri, Mississippi State, Florida and Clemson (their fifth victory in a row in that rivalry), then beat Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl to finish 11-2 SU and 7-6 ATS.

South Carolina is now 33-6 SU, 20-16-3 ATS over the last three seasons.

This year the Gamecocks return 14 starters, their most since 2010, when they won the SEC East for the only time under the ol' Ball Coach. Eight starters are back on offense, including RB Mike Davis and four along what should be one of the best offensive lines in the country. And while they have to replace Connor Shaw at QB, senior Dylan Thompson isn't a total virgin.

Six starters return on defense, including five of the back seven, but they can't help but miss monster DE Jadeveon Clowney.

As it often does, the going gets tough early in the SEC. South Carolina opens this season with a home date with Texas A&M, and a couple weeks later hosts Georgia. From there the Gamecocks also host Missouri and Tennessee, and must visit Auburn, Florida and Clemson. But like last season South Carolina misses Alabama and LSU, at least until a possible SEC Championship Game matchup.

The goal for the Gamecocks is to win the SEC East, and with some decent play at QB, a few people stepping up on defense, and a victory over Georgia, that could happen.

SEC Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Alabama 7/5
Auburn 5/1
South Carolina 5/1
Georgia 6/1
LSU 13/2
Florida 12/1
Ole Miss 14/1
Texas A&M 25/1
Mississippi State 40/1
Missouri 40/1
Tennessee 50/1
Arkansas 100/1
Kentucky 200/1
Vanderbilt 200/1

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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?

Odds to Win SEC: +500 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 9.5 at 5Dimes

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

Alabama +140
Georgia +400
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Florida +950
LSU +1250
Mississippi +2700
Vanderbilt +4500
Tennessee +6000
Missouri +6000
Mississippi State +10000
Arkansas +10500
Auburn +12500
Kentucky +20000