USC lost five straight games against the number on route to where they currently stand at 4-5. The Gamecocks are 2-7 straight up.
Kentucky comes into this matchup just about as demoralized as South Carolina with their last two games being losses by a combined 84 points. They also haven’t put up more than 10 points in four out of their last five games.
Having passed for a combined 182 yards in those last two contests as well, we may have a battle of the backs on our hands this weekend.
As for the visiting team, South Carolina continues to play without many key players, but their change in quarterback has resulted in at least moderate success in recent weeks.
Despite this being a matchup between two SEC East bottom-feeders, the Cocks still manage to be 11.5-point underdogs in this contest, according to VegasInsider.com. The line has shifted 1.5 points in favor of South Carolina since opening.
ESPN’s FPI gives the Gamecocks a 32% chance of claiming the victory.
The over/under is set at 48 points.
Why was the line set at this number?
Maybe because South Carolina hasn’t won at night all year?
They’re on the road?
They’ve given bettors no reason to take them?
They’ve lost five in a row against the spread?
Talent on both sides of the ball is minimal?
They’ve beaten Kentucky once in the last six years?
One of those reasons would’ve been enough for the average person to bet against USC, and I gave you six.
Vegas has to keep raising the lines if they want anyone to bet on the Cocks, and they’re doing just that for this game.
What will have to happen for the Gamecocks to cover?
Kentucky, thankfully, hasn’t been the best team in defending the run, so I’d suggest going with that. At the same time, if Kentucky knows it’s coming because it’s one of South Carolina’s only strengths, it may be harder to accomplish it.
That’s the same exact story if you switch the teams, too.
Kentucky hates passing the ball and heavily leans on the run game, and as we know, USC can’t defend the run either.
To cover, creating turnovers will be a must. It’s also a real possibility as Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson has turned it over three times in the last two games.
It would also be nice if Luke Doty has a day good enough through the air that the run isn’t as predictable.
What’s the better bet?
At this point, you had me at Kentucky.
I’m expecting a Wildcat victory somewhere between 14 and 24 points.
Betting blindly against the Gamecocks may be the move at this point in time.