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Tennessee Volunteers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Bears Odds - Prediction

No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday, October 29th, 7:15PM (EST)
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia, S.C.
TV: ESPN2
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: TENN -13/SC +13
Over/Under Total: TBA

After a week off, the Tennessee Volunteers will try to shake off a two game losing skid when they go into Columbia this Saturday night for a date with the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Volunteers dropped their last two games against no. 8 Texas A&M and no. 1 Alabama. However, Tennessee is still very alive in the race for the SEC East thanks to their important victory over Florida. If they can get some help, the Volunteers could still represent the East in the SEC Championship in December. The road to Atlanta will go through Columbia this Saturday as the Volunteers look to get back in the W column against South Carolina.

The Gamecocks are still in the rebuilding phase in Coach Will Muschamp’s first season in Columbia. The Gamecocks just barely got their 3rd win of the season last week in a rather surprisingly close 34-28 victory over UMass. The win halted a 3 game losing skid for the Gamecocks but they still have a long way to go before they will be back towards the top of the SEC as they were for so many years under Spurrier. This South Carolina team is probably the least talented team the Gamecocks have fielded in over a decade. Still, the Gamecocks have found some glimmers of hope this season a lot of freshman that come on board to help kickoff the Muschamp era. Last week, freshman quarterback Jake Bentley gave up his potential redshirt eligibility to make his first start.

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Previously, the Gamecocks had been one of the worst offenses in the FBS as they were held to 20 points or below in every game and were averaging just 317 yards of total offense (123rd in FBS). Luckily, the Gamecocks found a spark behind the arm of Bentley who showed great arm strength and natural passing ability which was lost under the run first approach from former quarterback Brandon McIlwain. Bentley hit 17 of 26 passing against the Minutemen and threw 2 passing touchdowns which were the first two passing touchdowns for South Carolina all season. The offense also got a spark from freshman running back Rico Dowdle and freshman WR Bryan Edwards who have been stepping up in recent weeks.

With South Carolina’s offense showing some signs of life, it will be interesting to see how they play at home this week against no. 18 Tennessee and if they can build off last week’s momentum. As most are aware, the Volunteers do not lack any talent on offense and they have posted some big scoring numbers this season. Even in the loss to Texas A&M, the Volunteers managed to hang 38 points before being stifled by the Alabama defense the following week.

To this point in the season, I think most would agree that quarterback Joshua Dobbs has underperformed. Dobbs is completing just 58.5% of his passes with 14 scores and 9 picks on the season. Sure there have been flashes of greatness, just look to the 2nd half of both the Florida and Texas A&M games. However, the Volunteers definitely need more consistency from their biggest talent and that includes protecting the football. Not only has Dobbs thrown 9 interceptions but the Vols have given up 17 turnovers on the season (121st in FBS).

Tennessee has to correct the turnovers issues to avoid any further struggles for the remainder of the year. Will Muschamp has turned South Carolina’s defense around in a pretty short time period and they are a pretty disciplined group. While they still lack some talent, they usually do a good job of preventing big plays and the Vols do not need to help their confidence at home with fortuitous turnovers. I think Tennessee will be able to move the football well especially if they can feed running back Jalen Hurd the football. However, the key towards Tennessee covering this spread remains with ball security and capitalizing on scoring opportunities.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: South Carolina plays really well at home and their spark on offense last week behind Bentley could be the thing they need to salvage this season. I like South Carolina +13

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NCAA Football Week 13 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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