Georgia has run through South Carolina the past two seasons and now as one of the best teams in the country, things could be even more ugly. Coming off the fresh beat down of Florida, the Bulldogs were -25 point favorites as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The line has shot up for Georgia, and for good reason. The Bulldogs dismantled the spread last week, which was surprisingly small, but now get one that’s in a decent range. Still undefeated, they have won every SEC Game by at least 25 points, but the trip to Auburn next week will a good barometer of just how good they are.
As for South Carolina, it’s been an up and down season, even with a 6-2 record. The Gamecocks have beaten weaker teams in the conference, although the home loss to Kentucky still stands out. Beating NC State in the opener was also nice and somewhat lucky, but this will be by far the biggest test the Gamecocks face this year, especially on the road.
South Carolina hasn’t seen a defense like this all season and that’s going to be the biggest thing. Georgia is allowing just 252 total yards per Game and less than 12 points per contest. The Gamecocks have gotten solid production from sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley, but he’s not lighting up the scoreboard. He’s completing fewer passes than a year ago (61.4%) to go with just 13 TDs and Four picks. It doesn’t help that they are averaging only 3.9 yards per carry as a team. A.J. Turner has come on in the past two Games, but this Georgia defensive front could easily limit him and Ty’Son Williams.
It’s the same situation for South Carolina’s defense. It’s been good, but not great and not a unit that’s going to control the Game. The Gamecocks haven’t faced an offense that’s built to run through defenses so it’s going to be a big test.
Georgia is averaging 6.0 yards per carry with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel one of the best one-two punches in the country. Those two haven’t been stopped by anyone this season and there’s no sign that they will be in this Game, even with USC allowing a solid 138 rushing yards per Game. Georgia will keep feeding Chubb and Michel until they break loose and that’s resulted in 40-plus points the last Four Games. It also doesn’t help that freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has similar numbers to Bentley, albeit with almost half the pass attempts. Fromm is rarely asked to pass when this team can run it on every play.
At some point, the line will get too big and that will lead to some South Carolina bets. The Gamecocks are having a good season, but it’s going to take a lot for them to compete in this one, against the best team they’ve seen thus far. They’ll need to establish some kind of run, otherwise Georgia could control the entire Game.
The Gamecocks are 4-1-2 ATS in their last seven road Games vs. a team with a winning home record, while the Bulldogs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven ACC Games. In this matchup, the favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven and the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five. The over has also hit in the last Four meetings.
Our Pick – South Carolina +23.5