After topping Auburn last Saturday, the Gamecocks are now an impressive 4-0 against the spread while simultaneously being a mediocre 2-2 overall on the year.
Hoping to stay hot, South Carolina is on the road at LSU for a primetime matchup this Saturday night on ESPN.
USC is fresh off a ranked victory where they generally played well on both sides of the ball. On the flip side, LSU is coming back from a COVID-19 bye week with the last game they played being their meltdown at Missouri two weeks ago.
Although the Tigers are coming off their least impressive showing in recent memory and will possibly be without starting quarterback Myles Brennan, they are still seven point favorites, according to VegasInsider.com.
The line has stayed pat at the number as well despite the Brennan news.
ESPN’s FPI seems to agree with the spread too, giving the Gamecocks a 28.2% chance of taking the game outright.
The over/under is set at 57 points.
Why was the line set at this number?
I think of this LSU team as one that’s around the same skill level as Auburn, except with a worse defense and a better quarterback.
Given that, I don’t think seven points is insane from Vegas’ point of view.
LSU is home (although during coronavirus I don’t think that makes as big a difference as it used to) and they like to score points.
South Carolina would need to keep up to take this game, which, as we all know, they have trouble doing at times.
Also, dating back to 1930, the Cocks have only topped the Tigers twice with their most recent win being in 1994.
Just like with Auburn last week, this is a streak USC hopes to break, and until it happens, many people are going to sleep on them.
The Tigers have also had more time than the Gamecocks to prepare for this matchup, and they are probably going in determined to avenge their poor performance from two weeks ago.
What will have to happen for the Gamecocks to cover?
If Brennan is playing, they have to put all of their attention on stopping the pass because running is not this team’s specialty.
The only time LSU’s leading rusher had more than 50 yards this season was against Vanderbilt, and they aren’t exactly known for their stout run defense.
If Brennan doesn’t suit up, things could either go very well or very poorly because they don’t have film on the other quarterbacks.
They could play like backups or they could play surprisingly well and shock the South Carolina defense.
If the corners perform like this SB Nation writer thinks they could, then maybe the Cocks won’t even need to put up 30 to cover.
What’s the better bet?
I can’t believe a team that hasn’t lost against the spread was given a touchdown playing an unranked opponent.
Even if they lose, I can’t envision it being by more than that either.
This game will be a good test for South Carolina, and it will show if this team plans to enjoy their one nice win or go for more.
I think anything from a Gamecock win by 5 to a Gamecock loss by 5 is in play here.