NCAA Football Betting - South Carolina vs. Florida

South Carolina (#7) at Florida (#2) will be the biggest NCAA football game of the week. Entering Week Eight of the season these two teams have shown resilience and played at a magnitude that was unexpected at the season’s beginning. In fact, during the preseason Florida was ranked at #23 in the country. Before last weekend’s loss to LSU, South Carolina was ranked at #3 in the country after starting off the season ranked at #9. For South Carolina to lose this game would likely be the end of their national title hopes. Florida might bounce back from a loss but after this game both teams will be playing lower ranked opponents.

The Gators are undefeated for good reason. Their defense is ranked 6th in the nation for points against with an average of 12.3 points allowed per game. The Gator’s main offensive strength is their running game (ranked 14th) which averages 233.3 yards per game and is supported by the passing game which is only 118th in the country. They have beat ranked opponents Tennessee and LSU. That’s right, they beat LSU and LSU beat South Carolina. Florida beat LSU 14-6.

South Carolina lost a heart breaker to LSU last week 23-21. It might then surprise you to know that South Carolina’s defense is ranked 5th overall in average points scored against, also, at 12.3 points. Basically no difference between the two defenses this week in terms of rankings. But dig deeper and you notice that South Carolina is weak against the run. Last week LSU thundered over South Carolina’s defense with the run game. This week Florida presents an even more productive run game than LSU. Furthermore, Florida put up 4 times as many rushing yards as LSU when they met a few weeks ago.

South Carolina’s running game is only ranked 72nd in the country averaging 160.4 yards per game. Their passing game, however, is ranked 74th in the country averaging 217.9 yards per game. They produce an average of 34.1 points per game. That is better than Florida’s 27.8 average points scored per game. South Carolina is 2-1 on the road and that one loss was of course to LSU.

The spread for this game is 3 points favoring Florida. The over/under is set at 42 points. Basing the over/under on the spread the final score would be about 23-20 for Florida. Given what happened between Florida and LSU it seems unlikely the score will get this high. Florida held LSU’s passing game to under 160 yards when their average is 188.9 passing yards; and they kept LSU to 2 FGs. Even with the Gamecocks’ better passing game one has to wonder if they will really be effective against Florida. Perhaps it is more likely that Florida covers the spread but the total still stays under 42 points. Maybe something like 20-10 for Florida.

Florida had some on-going injuries on defense and offense but all key players are expected to play this week. If they can stifle the South Carolina passing game Florida is likely to win by a clear margin. However, South Carolina QB Connor Shaw is already on track to outperform himself over last season with a 69.4% accuracy rating throwing for 910 yards, 9 TDs and averaging 8.4 yards per pass. His performance this week will make or break his team.

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