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Pick with Analysis
This can be considered a revenge game after the Gamecocks tore apart the Bulldogs from the start last year in a 35-7 win. Now after Georgia's Week 1 loss and an injury to its top wide receiver, a win here is almost a must after lofty preseason predictions. The Bulldogs are at home and sit as -3 point favorites at GTbets.
In last year's game, the South Carolina defense controlled things from the start and helped with a punt return in a 21-point first quarter. Aaron Murray went an ugly 11-for-31 for 109 yards and an interception. That will definitely have to change in this game, but the loss of Mitchell does not help at all for Georgia. The Gamecocks held a solid North Carolina offense to 10 points last week so it's not going to be easy for Murray and company. Jadeveon Clowney is going to be a problem as long as he can stay on the field. While the Bulldogs were able to score 35 points on Clemson last weekend, they weren't dominant by any means, which is why they lost.
A large part of Georgia's game will fall on last week's SEC offensive player of the year, running back Todd Gurley. Even though he only amassed 12 rushes (left game briefly due to thigh injury), he was electric rushing for 154 yards including a 75-yard touchdown. The running game will have to be more present than it was a year ago as Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for only 76 yards on 25 carries. Murray may have problems as this will be his first game without Mitchell to throw to, who actually led the Bulldogs in receiving in last year's matchup.
Georgia's defense will also need to step up after allowing 38 points to Clemson. While Clemson has one of the top offenses in the nation, the Bulldogs weren't able to do much against them. They had trouble stopping the run, which is also a problem they came across in last year's meeting when USC garnered 230 rushing yards. If the Gamecocks can find more room on the ground, that will just make the game so much easier for Connor Shaw at quarterback. Shaw may not be a great quarterback, but he doesn't lose games with mistakes. Sure, if their run game isn't working, Shaw probably won't be able to win the game with his arm
Georgia finds itself in the biggest game of the weekend for the second straight week. This one may be even bigger because of the SEC implications. The loser of this game will likely be out of the running for the SEC Championship game unless an upset occurs. South Carolina has the defense and type of offense to beat Georgia. The pressure will be on the Bulldogs to come back from last week's loss to not start the season 0-2, and to win a big game in front of their home fans.
The Gamecocks are a solid 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win, while the Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. As one would expect, the numbers don't point either way. Although if you were to bet points, the under is the best option as it is a ridiculous 14-2 in the last 16 meetings between these teams. Also in this meeting, the Gamecocks have led the way going 5-0-1 ATS in the last six matchups.
Our score prediction model, using last years stats, has Georgia on top by score of 27-22.
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