The South Carolina Gamecocks are set for a road matchup against the Florida Gators on Saturday in an SEC East showdown at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Our college football betting odds series continues with a South Carolina-Florida prediction and pick for the contest.
The Gamecocks bounced back from a surprising loss to Missouri with a 38-27 win at Vanderbilt in Week 10. That gives Shane Beamer’s team five wins in its last six games after a 1-2 start, which makes them bowl-eligible for a second straight season.
Meanwhile, the Gators snapped their two-game losing streak with a 41-24 victory at Texas A&M. Florida outscored the Aggies 17-0 in the next half and now sit at 5-4 on the season.
Here are the South Carolina-Florida college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: South Carolina vs. Florida Odds
South Carolina Gamecocks: +8.5 (-110)
Florida Gators: -8.5 (-110)
Over: 58.5 (-115)
Under: 58.5 (-105)
Why South Carolina Could Cover The Spread
Florida’s defense has not been good this season. Head coach Billy Napier should fix that in the future, but teams have had no issue racking up yards and points against the Gators through nine games. The numbers speak for themselves: 118th in total yards allowed per game (447.3), 113th in rush yards allowed per game (191.2), 101st in pass yards allowed per game (256.1), and 91st in scoring defense (29.2 points per game).
Those stats should give South Carolina confidence in its ability to run its offense effectively. Spencer Rattler is coming off a three-touchdown — and, more importantly, zero-turnover — game against Vanderbilt, and another clean performance is crucial to the Gamecocks’ success.
However, the biggest thing to watch for is the availability of star running back MarShawn Lloyd (556 rushing yards, 173 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns), who could have a huge game if he returns from injury. He sat out against Vanderbilt with a quad contusion and hasn’t practiced much this week.
Why Florida Could Cover The Spread
Florida’s path to success is similar. It’s all about taking advantage of a defensive weakness. For South Carolina, that’s its rushing defense. The Gamecocks are allowing 172.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 98th nationally. The Gators rank 20th nationally in putting up 208.4 rushing yards per contest. That should make the game plan rather simple for Napier’s squad entering a pivotal SEC East matchup.
In the win against Texas A&M, Florida rushed for 291 yards and had three players go over 75 yards on the ground: Montrell Johnson Jr. with 100 yards and a touchdown, Trevor Etienne with 80 yards, and Anthony Richardson with 78 yards and two touchdowns (including a 60-yard run and two passing touchdowns). The Aggies did have a few defensive starters sidelined, but the numbers are impressive nonetheless. Richardson’s dual-threat dynamic at quarterback presents a lot of issues for opposing defenses, as he has rushed for 62 yards or more in four games and at least 45 yards in all but three games this season.
Final South Carolina-Florida Prediction & Pick
MarShawn Lloyd’s status is everything in this one. If he plays, the Gamecocks should be able to run the ball with ease against what has been a brutal Florida defense. If he doesn’t play, that puts more pressure on Rattler to produce in the passing game, which could still work given the Gators’ struggles. Lloyd playing should help South Carolina cover the touchdown-plus spread, but if he doesn’t, the Gators could win by double digits. Either way, points will be scored, making the over the best play of the group.
Final South Carolina-Florida Prediction & Pick: Over 58.5 (-115)