2014 Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin opens as a one-point favorite over South Carolina

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas odds-makers have installed the Badgers as narrow favorites to win their first-ever meeting with the Gamecocks.

Gamecock fans who are looking at Wisconsin as just another mediocre Big Ten bowl opponent may be surprised to learn that the Badgers have opened as one-point favorites over South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl. Though there's a lot of time for the line to move between now and Jan. 1 (and Twitter reactions to the line seem to indicate that some early money could be flowing toward the Gamecocks), don't expect this to swing beyond a three-point spread in either direction.

As we pointed out yesterday, there's a lot of reason to think that Wisconsin's elite rushing attack and stingy, well-balanced defense will give South Carolina every thing it can handle. If nothing else, this game will give us a measure of just how much the Gamecocks' young linebacking corps has improved over the course of the season.

After struggling in the early going to find the ideal personnel grouping, Kaiwan Lewis and Skai Moore have stepped up to become difference-makers at the middle and weakside linebacker positions, respectively. If they're able to shut down Melvin Gordon and James White, we might enter the 2014 regular season talking about the linebackers as the unquestioned strength of the defense.

I would expect that most of you would favor the Gamecocks in what is, essentially, a pick 'em, but  where would you set the betting line?

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