College Football Betting: Clemson at South Carolina

College Football Betting:  Clemson at South Carolina

The more things change the more things stay the same. Last year about this time we recommended a play on South Carolina plus the points over Clemson, which was an easy winner. This year the venue moves to Columbia’s Williams-Brice Stadium and the Gamecocks are -4′ point favorites but we’re going to take Steve Spurrier’s team once again. The backstory of Palmetto State football greatly favors the Gamecocks in this matchup. Dating back to the tragic and sudden death of then head coach Joe Morrison in early 1989 the Gamecocks went through several coaches before finding ‘their man’–‘the Ol’ Ball Coach’ himself, Steve Spurrier. Spurrier has significantly upgraded the Gamecocks’ program across the board but more so than his predecessors he understands how to make his boosters happy. The complaints about the coaches that came before Spurrier—Lou Holtz, Sparky Woods and Brad Scott—were varied but there was a common refrain: none of them, it was argued, really ‘got’ the significance of the South Carolina/Clemson football rivalry. Spurrier gets it. He’s gone 6-2 ATS against the Tigers and has made it a priority for the program. A win here will put the final touches on a very successful regular season (only losses in conference at Georgia and Tennessee) and if Texas A&M manages to win at Missouri will send the Gamecocks to the SEC title game.

Clemson is a sickly talented team on offense but their defense has been a ‘work in progress’ bordering on a liability. Not sure that they’ve ever really ‘recovered’ from the loss to Florida State. They’ve rolled over four overmatched opponents since then but now they step up in class bigtime. We love Tajh Boyd and the Tigers’ offense but the Gamecocks did a great job defending him last year. Spurrier wryly noted earlier this week that Clemson ‘doesn’t seem to play well’ when they face the Gamecocks. At this point at least the coaching mismatch between Spurrier and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney could be the biggest reason for that. Boyd gets all of the press but Gamecocks’ QB Connor Shaw is seriously underrated and has 20 TD passes on the season against only one interception.