Following a mainly self-inflicted thrashing at the hands of Missouri this past weekend, Vegas expects a fun one for the home fans at Williams-Brice Stadium this Saturday night.
Many books have the Gamecocks securing a win versus the team they haven’t been able to beat in the last five years: Kentucky.
South Carolina opened as 2.5-point favorites and the line has since moved to 2 points with the over/under being set at 52 points.
Why was the line set at this number?
While Kentucky has been a very good home team as of late, their performance on the road has been a little different.
At home, the Wildcats won the games they were supposed to versus Toledo and Eastern Michigan. They even made it a game when Florida came to visit, covering the spread and only losing by 8.
In their sole road game, they lost to a mid-tier SEC team in Mississippi State by 15.
Now, they travel to South Carolina where they play a squad that recently took a blow but is hungry to get back in the win column.
So, on top of being a poor road team, they are facing a motivated Gamecock team who, like the Wildcats, has performed well at home.
The spread being set at two points makes a ton of sense because while Kentucky has enjoyed the better season thus far, South Carolina is home and a few points should be thrown their way because of that.
What will have to happen for the Gamecocks to cover?
Kentucky’s defense has been consistently sub-par this year.
The least amount of points they have allowed so far is 17, and that was against Eastern Michigan.
That tells me that the Cocks should have no problem putting points on the board, which has been a problem for them against Kentucky as of late.
In their last three meetings, South Carolina put up a whopping 33 combined points, including a forgettable performance from Jake Bentley last year.
With Ryan Hilinski at the helm, hopefully things will be different on that side of the ball.
On the other side, they will be going against Kentucky quarterback Sawyer Smith, who is averaging an interception per game.
To cover, they will have to continue the trend, in turn making things easier for the offense.
If the Gamecocks force some turnovers, improve on their tackling, and give Hilinski time to throw (assuming the receivers catch it), they should be on their way to a win straight up and against the spread.
What’s the better bet?
This is football.
I can say all these things about what should and could happen, but in all fairness it’s up in the air.
Vegas has been nailing it with their spreads involving the Gamecocks so I don’t see a blowout in either team’s favor.
I don’t care how confident I am going in, whenever I see Kentucky on the schedule I always expect a dog fight and a game that won’t be easily won.
If this were my money involved, I would stay away from this game. If I was forced to make a bet, I would go on the side of Kentucky for this one simply because I don’t know what to expect from the Cocks this Saturday and I’m not ready to get hurt again.
I am expecting anything in the range of a 10 point loss to a 10 point win.