SEC Picks Week 6: Kentucky Wildcats at South Carolina Gamecocks College Football Predictions

Kentucky Wildcats at No. 18 South Carolina Gamecocks
Saturday, 10/8/11, 9:20 PM EST, TV:  SEC Network
Opening Point Spread:  South Carolina -18.5
Current Betting Line:  South Carolina -21
Opening Total:  44
Current Total:  43
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Week 5 college football totals betting
The South Carolina Gamecocks will likely feature sophomore star running back Marcus Lattimore Saturday

Kentucky has scored just 34 points in its last three games, including lopsided losses to the LSU Tigers (35-7) and Florida Gators (48-10).  The Wildcats were out-gained by a combined 414 yards in those contests.  Many are calling for a change under center, but head coach Joker Phillips is sticking with junior quarterback Morgan Newton.  “There’s always a competition at every position,” he stated this week.  “Morgan still gives us our best chance to win.”  The offense ranks 113th in passing and 118th in total offense, averaging just 255.6 yards per game.  Kentucky is 14-16 ATS over the last two-plus campaigns and 6-11 ATS as an underdog.

The Wildcats pulled off a 31-28 win as 5.5-point home underdogs in last year’s meeting, which was actually the first time the program has beaten a Steve Spurrier-coached team.  Kentucky has only one wide receiver with more than 100 yards receiving, while freshman running back Josh Clemons will enter Saturday with a team-best 269 rushing yards.  Problems have mounted on the offensive line, as the unit has allowed 21 sacks in five games, which trails only Pittsburgh in the category nationally.

South Carolina is making a chance under center again, replacing Stephen Garcia once again with sophomore Connor Shaw, as Spurrier has seen enough.  “We were living through a lot of errors Stephen would make,” he stated this week in making the change.  “We’ve coached him to play better, but he plays similarly about every game.”  Something needed to be done due to the team ranking ninth in the conference in averaging just 174.6 passing yards a game.  Expect running back Marcus Lattimore to be the featured offensive player, as he compiled 212 yards from scrimmage in last year’s meeting.  South Carolina is 6-3 ATS off a conference loss, while the ‘under’ is 6-3 in those games.

The Gamecocks defense has really stepped up its play since allowing 79 points in the opening two weeks, holding their last three opponents to 13.3 points a contest.  South Carolina’s pass defense is allowing just 150.8 yards per game through the air.  Linebacker Melvin Ingram leads the SEC and is tied for fifth in the country with 1.1 sacks per game.  A fast start would certainly be a welcomed sight in Columbia, as the Gamecocks have scored just twice in the first quarter this season, which is amazing considering their 159 points in the first five games.

Bettors will likely back the Gamecocks due to their 5-1 ATS mark after a straight-up loss, while the Wildcats are 1-6 ATS as a road underdog.

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