Point Spread: Vandy -3.5
Total Line: 43
September 01, 2016 at 08:00 in Vanderbilt Stadium.
This first week of the college football schedule will see the South Carolina Gamecocks head into Vanderbilt University to take on the Commodores. Vandy is offered as a 3.5 point home favorite at the majority of the sportsbooks. The linesmaker has set the total line at 43 so it appears they aren’t expecting a lot of points scored in this match-up.
Vandy’s record last season was a poor 4-8 (6-5-1 ATS) while the Gamecocks had an even less impressive season with a 3-9 w/l mark (6-6-1 ATS). Vanderbilt’s 125th ranked offense who only averages 15 points per game will be playing against an defense that was ranked 71 in the league averaging 27.5 points per game last season.
QB Kyle Shurmur will be the starter for Vanderbilt and he does have some experience with five starts in 2015.. They will be looking to improve on last years’ performance of 171.8 yards per game. Vandy’s coach has been putting a lot of emphasis on Shurmur being hit during the offseason to help increase his confidence at getting the ball out of his hands under pressure. Coach Ludwig says “You have to be able to perform under that kind of pressure”.
On the other side of the ball, the Commodores will look to improve on an already solid defense that was ranked 30th nationally in fewest yards and points allowed. Defensive coordinator Mason is tinkering with a few things to create a couple of different potions.
The Gamecocks are coming into the season with a new coach and down 8 returning starters. How well does this bode for South Carolina? Not only have they lost their number 1 receiver in Pharaoh Cooper but starting QB transfer of Connor Mitch leaves the leadership position wide open to Senior Perry Orth, freshman Brandon Mciiwain and Jake Bentley who will battle for the starting position. Under their old tulage South Carolina has had a decent winning record of 32-19 but last year the team completely collapsed and after head coach Steve Spurrier quit they ended the season with 3-9.
In 2015 South Carolina ranked 110th in country on offense scoring only 21.9 points per game. Their defense ranked 71st managing to give up 27.5 ppg. The Gamecocks are technically starting this season with a true freshman team, including potentially the QB, very little proven talent at wide out, pretty shaky defensive line and a less than impressive secondary. All this in consideration South Carolina has a long year ahead of them.
- The Gamecocks are 4-2 against the spread in their last 6 games.
- South Carolina is 0-5 straight up in their last 5 road games.
- The game total has gone under the posted spread in 5 of the Gamecock’s last 7 road games at Vandy.
- The Commodors are 6-3 against the spread in their last 9 games against South Carolina.
- Vanderbilt is 0-5 straight up in their last 5 games against the Gamecocks.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt Free Pick
The Gamecocks lead the series 21-4 and have won the last seven with most by double digits. The Commodores haven’t been getting it done in their home openers losing their last four including in that was a 17-13 loss to South Carolina back in 2012. That said Vandy was real close three of the four losing by 2 to WKU, 4 to Mississippi and four to South Carolina. They return nine starters to an offense that has underperformed, but we see improvement on the horizon this season. It should take the Gamecocks a few games to get their offense on track and that’s not a good position to be in playing the Commodores. The sportsbooks are fishing for some South Carolina action throwing the hook on this game, but we’re not going to bite.
Take the Vanderbilt Commodores -3.5
Special thanks to Cliff Knox for his pick and analysis. You can get more of his opinions against the betting line and suggested wagers by visiting SBS’ College Football Picks Page