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SEC Football Pick
Missouri takes on South Carolina this week in SEC game #2 for the Tigers. As a result of South Carolina blowing out UAB and East Carolina, coupled with Missouri's loss to Georgia, The Tigers are getting very little respect from oddsmakers. South Carolina is a hefty -10 point favorite this week at 5 Dimes with a total of 49 at Betonline. Betting Trends at the world largest sportsbook, sportsbook.ag show us that the betting action as been fairly balanced as far as the side, but an overwhelming number of bettors have played this game to go over the total of 49 (80%).
We're just four games into the season and Missouri is already getting their second chance to show that they belong in the SEC. Their first game was against then-No.7 ranked Georgia. After playing them close for three quarters, the Bulldogs ran off 24 straight points. That kind of lapse will not go over too well against the new No.7 team, especially in Columbia, SC. Last week the Tigers won a tough game against Arizona State, 24-20, with their backup quarterback.
Meanwhile, the Gamecocks still have a bit to prove as well. Their last two wins were against East Carolina and UAB and in their first game of the season, South Carolina won just 17-13 vs. Vanderbilt.
At the moment, each team is dealing with shoulder injuries to their starting QBs. The dynamic Connor Shaw missed the East Carolina game a couple weeks ago while James Franklin missed last week's game for Missouri. In addition to that for South Carolina, senior safety D.J. Swearinger is suspended for this game after an illegal hit he made against UAB. No matter who's passing the ball for Missouri that should help a bit.
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Franklin is in his second year as the full-time starter for the Tigers. He looked solid at times against Georgia, throwing for 269 yards and two TDs. His backup, Corbin Berkstresser wasn't the greatest against the Sun Devils, but he got the job done. He threw for 198 yards on 21-for-41 passing with zero touchdowns and an interception. Whether it's Franklin or Berkstresser, the Missouri running game will have to improve from their 2.6 yards per carry average against Georgia. Kendial Lawrence will be a big part of this. He has 224 rushing yards and four TDs on the season. Wide receivers Marcus Lucas and T.J. Moe will be the main threats through the air and can make the difference against South Carolina with their height (Lucas at 6'5", Moe at 6'1").
For the Gamecocks, it has been said that Connor Shaw will get the start, but his effectiveness will be unknown. A big part of Shaw's game is his legs and against UAB it didn't look like he was comfortable enough to use them, running the ball just five times compared to 14 carries and 92 yards against Vanderbilt. His backup Dylan Thompson is more of a pure passer in the pocket which makes game planning for this one a little harder. The one certain in the South Carolina offense is that Marcus Lattimore will get plenty of touches. Against Vandy in Week 1, Lattimore rushed for 110 yards and two TDs to go with 21 yards receiving. He will be used early and often for the Gamecocks.
The last time these two teams played was in the 2005 Independence Bowl when Missouri surprisingly won 38-31 with Brad Smith at quarterback.
The Gamecocks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall including 4-0 in their last four home games. The only good number the Tigers have going for them is 4-1 ATS in their last five games on grass. This game should be much like the Georgia-Missouri one two weeks ago, where the winner was determined in the fourth quarter.
South Carolina has looked good the last two times out, but against EC and UAB. The eked out a win over Vandy in their first game and we'd put Missouri at the very least, at Vandy's level. Missouri no stranger to big games and big name teams as they have gone head to head with, and beaten the Oklahoma Sooners in the past two years. No, it's not the same Missouri team, but plenty of that talent still remains and Missouri desperately wants to prove that it can compete in the SEC. The Georgia game got out of hand due to sloppy play and turnovers. If the Tigers can eliminate that problem, this game can be close. We can't pass up the points here in what could prove to be a good, close game. Missouri +10
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