The fun begins in the SEC East this weekend with two of the best teams in the division battling. Neither team was challenged in opening Games so this matchup presents something new for both with Georgia the clear favorite. Still, the Bulldogs are just -10 point road favorites with an over/under of 55 points at YOUWAGER Sportsbook.
This may end up being the most important Game on the Schedule for South Carolina, especially if it has hopes of winning the division. Winning at home is vital in the SEC considering the Gamecocks also have trips to Ole Miss and Florida. This Game was tight most of the way last year with Georgia winning 24-10 in Athens. Jake Fromm didn’t make any mistakes, while Jake Bentley threw a couple picks and that was it for South Carolina, as it also couldn’t get anything going on the ground.
To have a chance in this one, the Gamecocks need to run the ball after gaining only 43 yards on 17 carries in last year’s meeting. Rico Dowdle and Ty’Son Williams were great in the opener, but this wasn’t a team that had a good ground Game last year and it’s hard to see them breaking out against Georgia. To simply reach 100 yards and get more than three yards per carry would be huge for the Gamecocks. Otherwise, Bentley will be forced into passing too much again and even with wide out Deebo Samuel back, this isn’t a defense you want to throw a bunch against. If they can simply move the chains early on to keep the defense off the field, that may be enough.
The other side is where the Gamecocks can win this Game and they’ll have to play much better than a year ago. Fromm did almost whatever he wanted en route to completing 16 of 22 passes, while the Bulldogs ran for 242 yards on 4.6 yards per carry. They lost some pieces, but they always have studs at running back and Fromm has another year under his belt. D’Andre Swift did a little bit in the first Game and Riley Ridley stepped into a more prominent role at receiver and those will be two to watch out for.
South Carolina had a good 2017 with nine wins, but never had enough to beat the better teams on the Schedule from Georgia to Clemson and Texas A&M. Beating Georgia would put the Gamecocks on the map in Will Muschamp’s third season. But even at home, betting on the Gamecocks won’t be easy given that Georgia’s run Game is much easier to trust and Bentley has to cut down interceptions to be at the same level as Fromm. This Game isn’t a guarantee, but the money on the home team will be limited.
The Bulldogs are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road Games vs. a team with a winning home record, while the Gamecocks are 1-4 ATS in their last five at home against a team with a winning road record. The under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings between these teams in South Carolina. Expect a similar Game to last year with points at a premium and a close Game for most of the way as long as South Carolina can find some running room.
Our Pick – South Carolina +10