Alabama Vs South Carolina Sports Betting Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide at South Carolina Gamecocks
Saturday, 10/9/10, 3:30 PM EDT, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread: Alabama -8
Current Betting Line: Alabama -7
Opening Total: 49
Current Total: 47.5

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Alabama heads into South Carolina on Saturday and is a 7 point road favorite

Top-ranked Alabama returns to the road for the third time in the past four games and visits No. 20 South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium.  The Crimson Tide lead the series with the Gamecocks 10-2 and the teams haven’t met in Columbia since Alabama posted a 37-14 win in 2005.  Head coach Nick Saban’s team has played at such an unbelievable level since the start of last season, winning 19 in a row and is coming off a dominating 31-6 win over Florida.  “I think the biggest thing is being able to continue to challenge yourself and challenge each other to improve and play to a standard,” Saban stated this week.  Piling up wins against ranked opponents hasnt been difficult for the Tide, compiling a 12-2 record against AP Top 25 opponents over the last three years.  Alabama is an impressive 8-2 in its last 10 road games and the total is 5-4 O/U in those contests.  The current line is hovering around 7 so be sure to check out the college football lines page to compare odds from multiple sportsbooks so you know you are getting the best number.

The Crimson Tide have continued to use a power rushing game that helped them win a national championship last season, as Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson are averaging 7.9 and 7.4 yards per carry respectively.  Ingram missed the first two games due to injury, but he has quickly made up for lost time, gaining 335 rushing yards and six touchdowns.  The offense is averaging 464 yards of total offense that ranks 20th nationally and third in the SEC.  On the other side of the ball, a defense that replaced nine starters from last season hasn’t skipped a beat, leading the nation in surrendering just 9.0 points per game.  Alabama’s total defense is 20th nationally at 292.4 yards per game and rates third in the conference.

South Carolina returns home after a disappointing 35-27 loss on the road to Auburn, as the team led through three quarters only to turn the ball over four times in the fourth quarter.  “Our goals this week are to play better and try to improve as a team,” head coach Steve Spurrier said.  He has decided to start quarterback Stephen Garcia despite  accounting for all three of the team’s fumbles.  “Hopefully he’ll protect the ball when he runs.”  The Gamecocks will have to play the game of their lives to pull off the upset, especially considering the program is 0-4 all-time in previous meetings against the nation’s top-ranked team.  An upset certainly isn’t far-fetched due to the Gamecocks winning 11 of their last 12 home games.  The squad is 9-5 ATS in its last 14 home games, but 7-9 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 7 points.

The Gamecocks will need a resurgence from its running game to hang with the Tide, as the team gained just 79 yards on 28 carries in its loss to the Tigers.  Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore was held in check, rushing 14 times for 33 yards.  South Carolina has been the best team in the league in the red zone, ranking first in the SEC in red zone offense and second in defense.  Offensively, the team is 15-for-16 in red zone opportunities, scoring 13 touchdowns and two field goals.  Conversely, the Gamecock defense has allowed just 10 scores in 16 opportunities, with six of the 10 being field goals.

Bettors will have an interest in playing the Crimson Tide due to the road team being 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.  South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 6-5 all-time against the Tide, but 0-2 as the main man in Columbia.

Get Maddux’s winning picks for this Saturday’s games by visiting the college football sports picks page of our site.  Currently on a 70% pick run expect another solid performance from our handicappers this weekend.

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