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Florida Gators (3) vs South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Picks and Predictions

02 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date: Saturday, October 3rd
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Venue: Florida Field
Network: ESPN
Spread: UF -17.5
O/U: 57.5

The 0-1 South Carolina Gamecocks will go on the road Saturday to face off with the 1-0 Florida Gators at 12:00 PM ET in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. You can watch the game on ESPN. The Gators open as 17.5-point favorites and we’re expecting a relatively high-scoring affair with a 57.5 over/under. The Gators have championship aspirations this season while the Gamecocks are already trying to dig themselves out of a hole. Let’s dive into how this game will flow and who will cover the spread.  

When The Florida Gators Have The Ball

Week one was a pretty solid one for the Florida Gators, though the defense didn’t look as dominant as we expected. They comfortably beat the Ole Miss Rebels 51-35, but they didn’t cover and didn’t look like the third-best team in the country at times. With that being said, it was week one and it’s hard to expect a defense to be perfect after a shortened camp without full contact. 

The Gators offense impressed in a big way as QB Kyle Trask threw for 416 yards and six touchdowns against a tough SEC defense. TE Kyle Pitts looks like one of the best pass-catchers in the country and he hauled in four touchdown catches on top of 170 yards. It’s hard to watch the Gators play without falling in love with Pitts and his style of play.

The backfield is shared between Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis, who complement each other nicely. Kadarius Toney is a swiss army knife and Dan Mullen always makes sure to get the ball in his hands. He rushed twice for 55 yards on top of his three catches for 59 yards and a TD. Trevon Grimes and Jacob Copeland start on the outside and are extremely reliable options for Trask. 

Defensively, the Gators are one of the more talented squads in the country. Ventrell Miller is simply one of the best players in the country and it feels like he’s everywhere at once. The Gamecocks will struggle getting anything past him at LB. The rest of the defense is filled with 1st and 2nd round talent with Donovan Stiner and Brenton Cox leading the charge. Mahamoud Diabate is an insane raw talent and he did an excellent job of putting pressure on Matt Corral in week one.

When The South Carolina Gamecocks Have The Ball

The Gamecocks faced off with the 16th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in week three and gave them a tough battle. They were edged out 31-27, but showed that they belong in the same class as a ranked SEC squad. Colorado State transfer Collin Hill made his first start and looked decent. He threw for 290 yards with one TD and one interception while adding in a one-yard TD run. 

The Volunteers had success running the ball on South Carolina, averaging four yards per carry on 133 yards and two scores. If they want to have success against a much more lethal Florida Gators squad, the defensive line will need to step up in a big way. The linebacker core is inexperienced and Trask will have no problem throwing all over them. 

With Hill now at the helm, South Carolina is more comfortable throwing the ball. He’ll lean on Shi Smith, who’s one of the best receivers in the SEC. With that being said, the Gators have one of the best CB’s in the country and Smith will have his work cut out for him. Xavier Legette and Nick Muse complement Smith and they might get some extra attention with Smith being locked down. 

South Carolina ran the ball too often in week one and they’ll need to trust Hill if they want any shot of beating the Florida Gators. The UF defensive line is going to maul the trenches and Kevin Harris will have nowhere to run. The Gators secondary has talent, but Ole Miss showed last week that you can throw against them. Look for South Carolina to throw the ball early and often in an attempt to keep up with the Gators offense. 

Spread Prediction

South Carolina looked decent in their first game of the season, but that was against a Tennessee Volunteers team that has no business being ranked. They allowed the Vols to run the ball at will and didn’t play aggressive defense. The offense looked too stagnant to compete with a Gators one that is going to put up 40+ points themselves. Dan Mullen has this offense looking like a greased wheel and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Trask throw the ball 50 times. 

The Gators defense didn’t look amazing against Ole Miss, but I’m willing to chalk that up to week one as we saw plenty of solid defenses look a bit disappointing. They’ll look far better with a week of playing time under their belt. Expect the Gators to come out scoring early and often. Trask couldn’t have looked much better against Ole Miss and there’s nothing to suggest he won’t have similar success. Give me the Gators all day here up to 20 points. 

The Pick: Gators -17.5

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

I’m expecting the Gators to comfortably beat this South Carolina team and I don’t suspect their offense will have much success. While they might grab a touchdown or two while playing catch up, the Gators defense is going to look a lot different than they did against Ole Miss. There won’t be as many blown coverages and the Gamecocks offense isn’t as balanced. 

The Gators offense is lethal, but their defense is what will end up winning them games later in the season. The public is on the over here and I completely agree. The Gators are going to put up 40-50 points on their own and that means South Carolina only has to fall into a couple of scores. This is a high number for the Gators and while I’m not extremely confident, I lean the over. 

The Pick: Over 57.5

Final Score Prediction: Gators 48, Gamecocks 13

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

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