College Football Week 4 Picks: Missouri Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Missouri Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks
Saturday, 9/22/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  South Carolina -9.5
Current Betting Line:  South Carolina -10.5
Opening Total:  52.5
Current Total:  48.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Missouri Tigers are hoping that QB James Franklin is able to move past an injury to his throwing shoulder this week

Missouri hits the road for the first time during the 2012 college football season, as it comes off a 2-1 home stand, which included a 24-20 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils as 3.5-point favorites.  The Tigers are hoping that starting quarterback James Franklin can return to the field after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury.  The last time the program played a road game at a ranked opponent, it came away with a 38-31 overtime win over the Texas A&M Aggies in 2011.  Missouri is 6-4 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons, which is something to consider when looking at the college football odds page.

The Tigers shouldn’t be tossed aside when making your college football picks this week if Franklin is unable to go, as backup Corbin Berkstresser completed 21-of-41 passes for 198 yards last week.  Missouri’s defense is also capable of leading an upset in this Southeastern Conference affair, as it held Arizona State to 236 yards and 34 points below its average offensive output.  The team boasts as turnover margin of plus-two per game, which ranks first in the conference and fifth nationally.

South Carolina has lost both previous meetings against Saturday’s opponent, but this will be the first time these two sides line up as conference rivals.  The Gamecocks have won seven straight games dating back to last season, which is their longest such streak since their school-record nine-game win streak back in 1984.  Head coach Steve Spurrier has led the squad to nine consecutive wins against SEC Eastern Division rivals, with the last setback in that situation coming in the middle of the 2010 season.  South Carolina is 0-2 ATS after two consecutive covers as a favorite the last two-plus campaigns.

The Gamecocks have built quite the home-field advantage over their last 25 games at Williams-Brice Stadium, posting a 22-3 record in that situation.  South Carolina is expected to have starting quarterback Connor Shaw back in the lineup, as he’s been dealing with an injury to his throwing shoulder.  Dylan Thompson has done a great job filling in during his absence of running Spurrier’s offense, throwing for a combined 507 yards and five touchdowns in the last two contests.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 2-1 ATS mark as road underdogs of 7.5 to 14 points, while the Gamecocks are 0-6 ATS after allowing nine points or less in their last game.

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