Free NCAAF Pick: South Carolina at Clemson

The SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks invade Memorial Stadium this Saturday afternoon to renew a long-standing rivalry against the Clemson Tigers, out of the ACC. The Battle of the Palmetto State is set to kick off at noon (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN

The Gamecocks come into this bitter rivalry fresh off a 37-12 romp over South Alabama as a heavy 24-point home favorite this past Saturday. They are now 3-1 against the spread in their last four games, but overall on the year South Carolina is just 4-7 ATS, with a straight up record of 6-5. The total has stayed “under” in three of its last five outings.

Clemson bounced back from a devastating 28-6 loss to Georgia Tech as a two-point road favorite with a 28-0 shutout of Georgia State this past Saturday as a heavy 39.5-point favorite at home. The Tigers are now 8-3 SU on the year with a 4-11 record ATS. The total has stayed under in six of their last seven games.

South Carolina at Clemson Betting Storylines

It has been a forgettable 2014 campaign for the Gamecocks after coming into the season with serious aspirations of making a run at the SEC title. They posted a SU 3-5 losing record in conference play after going 6-2 in each of the previous three years. The offense continues to be productive all season long with an average of 34.8 points a game, but a multitude of breakdowns on the other side of the ball led to South Carolina’s defense allowing an average of 30.8 points a game, which was ranked 95th in the nation.

Dylan Thompson has taken the majority of the snaps at quarterback, and he has thrown for 3,031 yards and 23 touchdowns while completing 60.1 percent of his 378 attempts. Pharoh Cooper continues to be his favorite target with 58 receptions for 921 yards and eight scores. Mike Davis has anchored the running game with 888 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 174 carries, but lately it has been Brandon Wilds getting the majority of the carries. He has added 556 yards on 99 attempts for an average of 5.6 yards a carry.

All three of Clemson’s losses this season came against ranked teams, and overall it has had some major trouble covering against the teams it was supposed to beat. The Tigers come into this matchup 3-6 ATS this season as favorites, and they have failed to cover in their last three games at home as favorites. Part of the reason can be attributed to an offense that has struggled with consistency all season long.

Clemson’s running game is averaging 146.5 yards a game, and it’s adding another 256.3 yards through the air. The net result has been an offense that is ranked 60th in the nation in scoring with an average of 29.6 points a game. There is no denying that the Tigers’ defense has been the strength of this team after holding opponents to just 17.6 points a game. The 28 points this unit allowed in the loss to Georgia Tech was just the second time all season that it gave up more than 23 points in a game.

South Carolina at Clemson Betting Odds and Trends
Pointspread: Clemson -4.5
Total Line: OFF

The betting trends have the Gamecocks listed at 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following a SU win, and they are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed under in their last six games against the ACC.

The Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a SU win, and they have failed to cover in their last six games overall. The total has stayed under in their last four home games.

The home team in this heated rivalry is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has stayed under in the last four games.

College Football Picks: South Carolina at Clemson Betting Predictions

It is hard to go against the home team in such a big rivalry as this, but betting on Clemson this season has been a very expensive proposition. The Gamecocks will be looking to go out on a high note after such a disappointing year, so expect head coach Steve Spurrier to have his team ready. South Carolina has won the last five meetings both SU and ATS, and I really like its chances to keep this streak going with another victory this year.

Take: # 409 South Carolina (+4.5) over Clemson – Noon. Saturday, Nov. 29

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