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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Point Spread - Pick ATS

South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 10th 7:00PM (EST)
Where: Davis Wade Stadium Starkville, M.S.
TV: ESPN2
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: USC +6.5/MSU -6.5
Over/Under Total: TBA

SEC Football action continues this week as the South Carolina Gamecocks travel into Starkville for a date with the Mississippi State Bulldogs inside Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs were stunned last week at the hands of the South Alabama Jaguars. The Jaguars, hailing out of the FCS as 28 point underdogs, rallied from a 17-0 1st half deficit to score 14 points in the 4th quarter to beat the Bulldogs in a shocking 21-20 upset in Starkville. For a team that went 9-4 last year through the big bad SEC West, the opening home loss was quite a stunner. This week Mississippi State gets an opportunity to right the ship as they will be 6.5 point favorites over South Carolina.

The Gamecocks did not look very impressive in their opener either but they were able to get an SEC road victory nevertheless. The Gamecocks rallied back from a 10-0 deficit to beat Vanderbilt 13-10 in Coach Will Muschamp’s debut in the garnet and black. South Carolina kicker Elliott Fry delivered a 55 yard field goal in the final seconds to earn South Carolina the victory. However, I believe most would agree that it was a pretty ugly performance for the most part. South Carolina really struggled to move the football as they fielded two quarterbacks in Perry Orth and Brandon McIlwain. When the offense did find some rhythm, it resulted in stalled out drives or turnovers.

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From watching the Vanderbilt game and being a big SEC guy, I can tell you that South Carolina’s overall talent is down. I believe Steve Spurrier simply quit recruiting over the last few years. Either way Muschamp will get things going especially in the recruiting side of things. For this week, South Carolina has a few things to build off of in their preparation for the Bulldogs. One of the promising aspects of last week’s road win for South Carolina was the play of the defense. I know Vanderbilt is not any type of offensive powerhouse but the Gamecocks really attacked the football well. They were disciplined and never gave up any back breaking plays. That was not the story a year ago and it is obvious that Muschamp has stamped his defensive ingenuity onto this group.

The improvement in South Carolina’s defensive play will be big in this week’s match-up against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs love to keep the football on the ground similar to the way Vanderbilt did last week. However, the Bulldogs offense is much better at running the football with tailback Brandon Holloway and quarterback Damian Williams. Williams actually led the team in rushing last week against South Alabama with 93 yards on 12 carries. Williams was also pretty solid throwing the football completing 20 of 28 passing for 143 yards and a touchdown.

Williams and Holloway were easily the two biggest playmakers on offense last week. Holloway had 46 yards on 11 carries out of the backfield but also caught 5 passes for 40 yards as well. The key for Mississippi State will be finding creative ways to get those guys in space against South Carolina. The Gamecocks did a good job of getting to the football last weekend but they are still vulnerable in the open field. With two solid defenses in action and another matchup with less than exciting offenses, a few big plays could really swing the momentum of this game. The team that can make the big plays on offense is going to be the winner.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This may easily be another low scoring “ugly” type of game. I think the defenses will have the upper hand yet again similar to the way both teams played in their openers. However, I think South Carolina has a couple more ways to attack in this game with both quarterbacks. Orth can throw it pretty well and McIlwain can run the ball well. Muschamp will give both the opportunity at Mississippi State’s defense and they will go with the guy that has the most success. Additionally WR Bryan Edwards looks like he could become a big time SEC threat. Take South Carolina +6.5!

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NCAA Football Week 12 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

Free Picks

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Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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