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Auburn Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Picks and Predictions

15 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Saturday, October 17th
Time:12:00 PM ET
Venue:Williams-Brice Stadium
Network:SEC Network
Spread:AUB -3
O/U:51.5

The 2-1 Auburn Tigers will go on the road Saturday afternoon to face off with the 1-2 South Carolina Gamecocks at 12:00 PM ET in Williams-Brice Stadium. The Tigers are just three-point road favorites and we’re looking at a presumptive defensive battle with a low 51.5 over/under. Let’s dive into how this game will go and who will cover the spread. 

When the Auburn Tigers Have The Ball

The first three games of the season have gone to plan for Auburn, beating Kentucky and Arkansas and losing to Georgia. It was still a bit disheartening to see them beat 27-6 by the Bulldogs in what was expected to be a close game. Still, they’ve been the teams they were supposed to and they draw another one in the South Carolina Gamecocks. 

The Tigers offense hasn’t been very explosive, averaging just 270 yards per game. That ranks 83rd out of 90 teams. With that being said, they looked a lot better against Arkansas with 446 total yards and not a single turnover. Freshman phenom Tank Bigsby led the way with 146 yards on the ground and he added four catches for 18 yards. 

QB Bo Nix was phenomenal in his true freshman season, but his sophomore campaign hasn’t been as great. At least not yet. He’s thrown for just 597 yards and four touchdowns with one interception and he hasn’t been as effective on the ground. The Tigers need Nix to step up in a big way if they’re going to hold onto that number next to their name.

The Tigers have some of the best weapons in the SEC in Anthony Schwartz (21 rec, 197 yards, TD) and Seth Williams (12 rec, 216 yards, 2 TD). Schwartz is one of the fastest players in the country while Williams has a distinct advantage in any 1-on-1 matchup. If Nix can get them the ball more often, the Auburn offense is a lot better off. If Auburn wants to win this game,they must protect Nix. South Carolina can rush the QB and Nix needs the time. 

When The South Carolina Gamecocks Have The Ball

The Gamecocks might be under .500, but they’ve faced a brutal schedule and they’ve looked solid in every game. They lost by just four points to 16th-ranked Tennessee and put up a lot more points than expected against Florida. They then went and beat Vanderbilt 41-7 in a game that was over before it started.

The point is that this South Carolina team is a lot better than their record might indicate. Colorado State QB-transfer Collin Hill has been solid, throwing for 698 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception. He’s added three rushing scores and does a good job around the goal line of using his size and reach. 

Sophomore running back Kevin Harris is one of the best backs in the country and he doesn’t get nearly enough national attention. He’s rushed for 326 yards and four touchdowns on top of 65 receiving yards and another score. The Gamecocks will look to get him the ball early and often as it’s their best chance to move the ball against a tough Auburn defense.

When Hill drops back to pass, he’s not working with any shortage of talent. WR Shi Smith (26 rec, 271 yards, 2 TD) can take it to the house on any given play and he’s a nightmare for any defense. Tight End Nick Muse is a monster in the RZ and he’s averaging 14 yards per catch. Hill is a future fifth or sixth round pick in the draft and he’s done a good job of getting his weapons the ball in space.

With all that said, this South Carolina team is still very much a defensive unit. They’re led by Ernest Jones, who has some of the best instincts of any College Football LB. He’s totaled 29 tackles already and is 11 higher than the second-leading tackler. Jammie Robinson is an animal in the secondary and he’s not only a great cover corner but gets himself involved in the run game. This Gamecocks defense is fast and they’ll give Auburn another big test. If South Carolina wants to win this game, they have to force at least two turnovers. 

Spread Prediction

I like the South Carolina Gamecocks as the better team in this bout. While Bo Nix has a ton of hype around him, the quarterback on the other side of the ball is no joke. Hill does a great job of taking care of the ball and orchestrating the pro-style Gamecocks attack. I don’t trust the Tigers defense to make the big stops and the South Carolina defense has been menacing at home. 

The Gamecocks are being undervalued here and it’s because of the reputation Auburn has. While they are still a very dangerous team, I see South Carolina similarly dangerous and they aren’t nearly as volatile. The defense is not only deeper, but the Auburn defense hasn’t impressed me at all through three games. I expect the Gamecocks to come out and win this game, so the three points are a nice cherry on top for insurance.

The Pick: South Carolina +3

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

We have some terrible defenses in the SEC this season, but neither of these teams have fallen victim and it’s why we’re seeing a relatively low number. I like the over here as both offenses are still coming out of their shell. On the South Carolina side, Hill has started just three games and he’s looked incrementally better in each. Against Vandy, the offense looked incredible.

On the Auburn side, it’s just a matter of time before Bo Nix starts making some plays. He’s elite weapons to play with and an experienced offensive line. The Tigers put up three or four scores in this game and the Gamecocks do the rest. I’d rather ride with South Carolina money line or spread, but lean over here. 

The Pick: Over 51.5

Final Score Prediction: South Carolina 28, Auburn 24

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers
Why is South Carolina +3 the bet to make?

– Tigers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
– Gamecocks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.

Why is Over 51.5 the bet to make?

– Over is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
– Over is 4-0 in Gamecocks last 4 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.

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