Pick – Analysis
What side is the best play in this Game? The team that hasn’t covered in Four straight Games (South Carolina) or the team that hasn’t covered in Four of its last five Games (Arkansas). The Gamecocks come in as -6 point favorites on the road at 5 dimes sportsbook.
South Carolina’s offense is playing great. Even at only 31 points per Game, they’re still better than ones we’ve seen in the past. In fact, it’s the only reason they’re winning right now. With all of the controversy surrounding Jadeveon Clowney, the Gamecocks have been rather average on the defensive end. The 10 points allowed to North Carolina in their first Game doesn’t look all that great seeing as how the Tar Heels are a mess this year with only one win.
Led by an inconsistent Brandon Allen, Arkansas has been able to put points on the board. The fact that he’s completing less than 50 percent of his passes is a major problem in the SEC, but at least his touchdowns outweigh the interceptions at this point. The Razorbacks are in a current stretch of Four straight Games against Top 20 opponents, which doesn’t help. The strength of this offense is the running Game with Alex Collins, who has 651 yards and three TDs. His backup isn’t half-bad either in Jonathan Williams, who already has 503 yards.
South Carolina hasn’t really stopped anyone lately, as they allowed 21 points to Kentucky in the Fourth quarter last weekend. Allen and Collins should keep the Razorbacks in this Game and possibly pull off an upset.
The difficult part for Arkansas comes on the defensive end where they haven’t really stopped anyone relevant. They stopped Florida’s rushing Game which is good, but let Tyler Murphy beat them through the air last Saturday. The Gamecocks’ offense is a little more potent than the one for the Gators.
Connor Shaw returned from injury and cruised against the Wildcats last weekend, completing 17-of-20 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 50 yards and another score. If Murphy can throw on the Razorbacks, Shaw shouldn’t have a problem. In his senior season, he looks improved as seen in his completion percentage and no interceptions. He’s connected with Four different receivers at least 12 times, including running back Mike Davis, who’s going to be tough to stop. Davis has gone for at least 100 yards in Four of five Games this year and has 614 on the season with eight touchdowns.
South Carolina has the offense to win this Game and it should be similar to its previous few wins. In last year’s Game, it was the same case as the Gamecocks won 38-20, but at home. Without a dominant defense on either end of the ball, the Gamecocks won because they had a better offense and more efficient quarterback.
The Gamecocks are 1-4 ATS in their last five road Games and only 1-5 ATS in their last six Conference Games. The Razorbacks are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 home Games and a pitiful 2-10 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. South Carolina is just 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams played in Arkansas. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six matchups, but the favorite is 6-1 over the last seven. The over has hit in six of the last seven meetings.