Free College Football Picks: South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Tennessee Volunteers, SEC Preview

No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, 10/29/11, 7:15 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  South Carolina -3.5
Current Betting Line:  South Carolina -3.5
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  43.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Week 5 college football totals betting
The South Carolina Gamecocks will be without star running back Marcus Lattimore the rest of the season

South Carolina comes in off its bye week and brings in a two-game winning streak since dropping a 16-13 contest to the Auburn Tigers as 10.5-point home favorites.  The Gamecocks have gone through some changes in the past couple weeks, dismissing former starting quarterback Stephen Garcia, while star running back Marcus Lattimore is out for the year with a torn ligament and cartilage to his left knee.  The program has enjoyed success following a week off under head coach Steve Spurrier, posting a 5-2 record during his time in Columbia, including a 35-21 win over Alabama last season.  South Carolina is 0-5 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Gamecocks are set to face off against the Volunteers for the 30th time in the series, coming in with a 5-22-2 record, including a 1-14 mark in Knoxville.  Spurrier should give the team confidence with his success against Tennessee, coming in with a 12-8 all-time mark, including a 3-3 record with South Carolina.  One of the key factors to the team’s success this year is causing turnovers, ranking second in the nation in gaining 24, just one behind Rutgers.

Tennessee will be looking to snap a three-game straight up and against-the-spread losing streak, coming off a 37-6 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide as 29-point road underdogs.  The home team in this particular series has won four consecutive games and it has the second-narrowest average margin of victory among all SEC matchups since 2000 at 9.0 points.  In the last nine meetings, the Vols have forced at least three turnovers six times.  Tennessee is 0-3 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points.

The Volunteers have scored 23-of-25 times when entering the red zone this season, ranking second in the SEC with a 92 percent rate.  Tennessee is 48-26 in October since 1990, including a 25-15 record at home.  Second-year head coach Derek Dooley will be looking to snap the program’s nine-game losing streak to AP Top 25 teams, while also trying to avoid opening with five consecutive conference losses for the second straight season.  The quarterback position will have its third starter Saturday, as freshman Justin Worley replaces Matt Simms, who took the place of an injured Tyler Bray.

Bettors will likely back the Volunteers due to their 4-1 ATS mark in the series, while the Gamecocks are 4-9 ATS in October.

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