The 18th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers will look to remain on track for a big-time bowl game by taking down the South Carolina Gamecocks when the two longtime SEC rivals battle at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. Now, let’s find out which team is offering the most college football spread value in this matchup.
A Closer Look At The Tennessee Volunteers At South Carolina Gamecocks College Football Week 9 Free Picks
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 7:15 PM ET
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Betting Odds: South Carolina Gamecocks +14 / Over/Under: 50.5
Tennessee (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) had a bye last weekend and they needed it after getting smacked around by Alabama in its humbling 49-10 loss two weeks ago while never coming close to covering the spread as 14-point underdogs. The Vols have dropped two straight and are averaging 30.4 points per game to rank 59th in scoring. For the season, quarterback Joshua Dobbs has completed a modest 58.5 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 293 yards and another five touchdowns.
Running back Jalen Hurd leads Tennessee Volunteers in rushing with 435 yards and two touchdowns while wide receiver Josh Malone has racked up 22 catches and five touchdowns. Defensively the Vols are allowing 29.9 points per game to rank 84th nationally in points allowed. Todd Kelly Jr. has recorded a team-high 50 tackles while Colton Jumper has 42 tackles and Derek Bennett, six sacks.
South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) snapped its three-game losing streak by beating UMass 34-28 despite never coming close to covering the college football betting line as a huge 19.5-point favorite. The Gamecocks are averaging a paltry 16.9 points per game to rank a dismal 126th nationally as quarterback Brandon McIlwain has been limited to just 52.8 percent of his passes with just two touchdowns and one interception. Running back A.J. Turner leads the Gamecocks with 300 rushing yards and two scores while wide receiver Hayden Hurst has a team-high 31 catches.
The good news for South Carolina fans and betting backers is the fact that the Gamecocks have an elite defense that has limited the opposition to 21.3 points per game to rank 30th nationally. Bryson Allen-Williams and T.J. Smith have both racked up a team-high 46 tackles as well while Darius English has recorded six sacks. Overall, South Carolina has recorded eight interceptions, six fumble recoveries and a dozen sacks.
Expert Prediction and Pick
While I like Tennessee to get the outright road win in this Week 9 SEC showdown, the South Carolina Gamecocks are the easy pick to cover a point spread that is definitely a few points too high. I know Tennessee has gone 8-1 ATS in their last nine road dates against South Carolina while the Gamecocks have compiled an uninspiring 2-4 ATS mark over their last six games, but each of the last four meetings between these longtime rivals has been decided by three points or less.
Tennessee has been very fortunate this season and probably aren’t as good as their record indicates. I’m expecting South Carolina’s stingy defense to force at least one costly turnover to keep the final score well inside the nearly two-touchdown spread!