NCAA Football Rivalry: South Carolina Gamecocks at Clemson Tigers Free Picks

South Carolina Gamecocks at Clemson Tigers
Saturday, 11/27/10, 12:00 PM EDT, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  South Carolina -3
Current Betting Line:  South Carolina -2.5
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  45
Current Moneyline:  South Carolina -140 / Clemson +120

The Clemson Tigers are slight home underdogs in hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks in Death Valley on Saturday night

South Carolina will wrap up the 2010 regular season by making the 135-mile trek to Upstate to face the longtime rival Clemson Tigers for the 108th time.  “I think we have a good, healthy rivalry with Clemson now,” said head coach Steve Spurrier about taking over the program after the 2004 brawl.  “I don’t sense in any way that could happen with the coaching staffs in place and the players that are in place.”  South Carolina won last year’s meeting in Columbia 34-17 and looks to make it two in a row over the Tigers for the first time since winning three straight from 1968-70.  The team enters the contest as the SEC Eastern Division Champions for the first time in school history.  It could be tough for the squad to get up for this game due to playing Auburn next, which highlights the team’s 0-3 ATS mark after two or more consecutive wins.  The college football lines page has them listed as a slight road favorite.

The Gamecocks are led by freshman running back Marcus Lattimore, who set the school record for single-season touchdowns in the win over Troy, scoring three times to run his total to 19 for the season.  He also topped the 1000-yard rushing mark for the season, giving South Carolina a 1000-yard rusher and a 1000-yard receiver in the same season for the first time in school history.  On the other side of the ball, the defensive unit leads the SEC and ranks third nationally with a school-record 36 sacks.

Clemson has more wins over South Carolina than any other school and those victories represent over 10 percent of Clemson’s all-time victory total.  “These players really have a lot of respect for each other,” said head coach Dabo Swinney.  “They are competitors.  They are going to line up and compete and when the game is over they’re going to shake each other’s hands and that’s the way you’ve go to do things.”  Since the team’s have gone to a home and home schedule in 1960, Clemson has a 31-17-1 advantage, including a 16-8-1 mark at home.  The team is 6-6 ATS as an underdog the past three years.

The Tigers senior class that will be playing its final game at Memorial Stadium has produced a 2-1 record against the Gamecocks.  The group has enjoyed playing in Death Valley and has a 21-6 record over the last four years.  In those games, the offense has averaged 29 points per game and the defense has surrendered just 18 points a contest.  It’s also important to note that the last time Clemson lost a night game in the series was 1996.  In order to pick up the mild upset tonight, the defensive unit must play a solid football game for four quarters, as it comes in ranked ninth in scoring defense.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Gamecocks are 8-3 ATS versus a team with a winning record, while the Tigers are 19-7 ATS as an underdog.

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