College Football Betting Picks: South Carolina Gamecocks at #5 LSU Tigers

South Carolina Gamecocks at #5 LSU Tigers
Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Saturday, October 10, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line LSU -13
Current Line: LSU -19 1/2
Opening Total: 49 1/2
Current Total: 50
Opening Money Line: LSU -1100 / South Carolina +700
Current Money Line: LSU -1200 / South Carolina +775

LSU is a 19.5 point favorite against South Carolina Saturday.
LSU is a 19.5 point favorite against South Carolina Saturday.

The South Carolina Gamecocks and LSU Tigers were originally supposed to play in Columbia, SC. However,  because of catastrophic flooding in the state, school officials met with South Carolina state officials and decided to move the game to Baton Rouge. It is still technically a home game for South Carolina. Because of short notice in moving the game Tiger Stadium is expected to be around half full or even less.

LSU has dominated the series against South Carolina 17-2-1, including 11-1 in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have won 5 straight games in the series including 23-21 in Baton Rouge in 2012, the last meeting between the teams.

South Carolina is coached by Steve Spurrier. The Gamecocks are 2-3 overall and 0-3 in SEC play. The Gamecocks have a win over North Carolina 17-13 in Charlotte and a home win over Central Florida 31-14. South Carolina has a hone loss to Kentucky 26-22 and road losses at Georgia 52-20 and Missouri 24-10 last week. The Gamecocks were 3 point underdogs at Missouri and the total was 42.5. Missouri took a 7-3 lead in the first and led 17-10 at halftime. The Tigers added another touchdown late in the third and neither team would score again. Both teams were under 300 yards on offense but the Gamecocks had 3 second half interceptions. South Carolina is 2-3 ATS and the total is 1-3-1 this season.

LSU is 4-0 overall and 2-0 in SEC play. The Tigers are coached by Les Miles. LSU is one of three undefeated teams in the SEC along with Florida and Texas A&M. The opening game against McNeese State was cancelled due to bad weather. LSU has road wins over Mississippi State 21-19 and Syracuse 34-24. The Tigers have home wins over Auburn 45-21 and last week against Eastern Michigan 44-22. LSU was a 45 point favorite against Eastern Michigan and the total was 64. The Tigers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter but EMU would score 14 straight points to pull within a field goal. LSU kicked a field goal just before halftime to take a 20-14 lead. The Tigers expanded the lead to 30-14. The Eagles scored a touchdown and a two point conversion to pull within 8 points. LSU scored two fourth quarter touchdowns including a 26 yard pick six to put the game away. Still, that was much more difficult than it should have been for LSU. The Tigers had 471 total yards to 255 for the Eagles. EMU had 3 turnovers to 1 for LSU. Tiger Running back Leonard Fournette had 26 carries for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. He became the first back in SEC history to rush for over 200 yards in three straight games. LSU is 1-3 ATS and the total is 3-1 this season.

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South Carolina is being outscored 26-20. USC is #118 in scoring out of 128 teams.  The Gamecocks average 353 yards per game including 163 passing and 190 rushing yards. The Gamecocks are #101 in total offense and #110 in passing nationally. South Carolina has allowed 389 yards per game on defense including 219 passing and 170 rushing yards per game. The Gamecocks have forced 7 turnovers and have 6 giveaways. South Carolina is averaging 41 penalty yards per game and opponents average 48. The Gamecocks are 31/76 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 26/67. South Carolina has forced 9 sacks and has allowed 9 of their own. The Gamecocks are 13/16 scoring in the red zone with 6 touchdowns, and opponents are 17/20 with 13 touchdowns.

Quarterback Connor Mitch injured his shoulder early in the Kentucky game and is out until at least late October. Perry Orth and Lorenzo Nunez have split time since the Mitch injury. Nunez has thrown for 374 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and rushed for 299 yards on 45 carries with a touchdown. He is probable with a shoulder injury.  Orth has passed for 283 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. Mitch passed for 165 yards with a touchdown, and rushed for 51 yards with a touchdown.

Running back Brandon Wilds has 35 carries for 181 yards and no touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 66 yards. He is probable with a rib injury. Shon Carson has 31 carries for 158 yards and a touchdown, along with a touchdown catch. David Williams has 44 carries for 154 yards. Receiver Pharoh Cooper has  26 catches for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 12 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. Jerell Adams has 12 catches for 164 yards and a touchdown. Four little used receivers/tight ends are questionable or out.

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LSU is outscoring teams 36-22 this season. The Tigers are in the top 50 in both categories nationally. LSU averages 430 yards per game including 334 rushing and 96 passing yards. The Tigers are #4 nationally in rushing but #124 in passing. On defense, LSU is allowing 294 yards per game including 188 passing and 106 rushing yards. The Tigers are #35 or better in all three categories nationally. LSU has forced 6 turnovers and has one of their own. The Tigers average 77 penalty yards per game and opponents average 44. LSU is 14/40 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 22/59. The Tigers have forced 11 sacks and allowed 6 this season. LSU is 15/17 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns and opponents are 10/11 with 9 touchdowns. The Tigers have a punt return for a touchdown and a pick six.

Quarterback Brandon Harris has thrown for 382 yards with 2 touchdowns, and has rushed for 135 yards on 25 carries with 3 touchdowns. Receiver Malachi Dupre has 8 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. Travin Dural has 10 catches for 120 yards.

Fournette has 99 carries for 864 yards with 11 touchdowns, along with 2 catches. He is the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Darrel Williams has 33 carries for 183 yards. Derrius Guice has 13 carries for 102 yards.

South Carolina is 4-1 ATS after failing to cover, 3-7 in October, 1-4 in SEC games, and 0-4 against teams with winning records. The road team has covered the last 4 games in this series.

LSU is 5-2 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 2-5 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 3-8 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 1-4 after a straight up win, overall and after passing for 170 yards or less, 1-5 after rushing for over 200 yards, and 0-4 against teams with losing records.

South Carolina is in a rebuilding year and might be the worst team in the SEC this year. LSU probably would have won this game easily even in Columbia but should blow this team out in Baton Rouge. I like the Tigers to win and cover in a low scoring game.

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