ATS Betting Value in South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, September 19, 2014 3:18 PM GMT

The Gamecocks are on a mission, and that spells bad news for Vanderbilt this weekend. Find out why we expect South Carolina to cover the large number listed on the college football odds boards this weekend.

STEAMROLLER PLAY OF THE WEEK

S. Carolina (-22) at Vanderbilt 7:30 ET SEC TV

In my lead article this week, “Using the AFP as Contrary Indicator,” I use the example of last week’s loser on Texas A&M in this very spot as STEAMROLLER OF THE WEEK.  After Arizona and Army rolled to easy victories for us in this column, we got valued out when I tried to push the Aggies to cover an inflated impost.  As I said, “my bad!”  Today, I isolate a selection using a team who steps way down in the level of competition against one of the nation’s programs who is in steepest decline. 

Read South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt Picks for another take on this game.

Every season there are college football teams who completely fall off the radar screen.  Perhaps it is the lack of returning starters, maybe it is key injuries at skill position spots, cluster injuries to a particular position, or a coaching change.  In the case of Vandy, there are multiple reasons for the decline of this program.  In the 3 year regime of former HC Franklin (now Penn St.), the Coms recorded a 24-15 SU, 23-13 ATS mark.  That included 9 victories in each of the previous two seasons, highlighted by a pair of Bowl wins.   In his 3 seasons at the helm, Franklin fielded teams that featured 19, 16, and 14 RS.  When Franklin left for Penn St., he was replaced by Derrick Mason, who was the DC at Stanford for the previous 4 seasons.  He was joined by former UCLA HC Dorrell as his OC and QB Coach.  With a change at the signal caller spot and only 10 RS, the results have been disastrous in Vandy’s first 3 games.  They are 1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS, failing to cover the number by 79 points.  This has included a 37-7 loss to Temple, 41-3 loss to Ole Miss, followed by last week’s 34-31 home victory vs. UMass.  This was a game in which Vandy trailed the lightly regarded Minutemen (31-20).  It was also a game that saw the Coms get out-statted 347-310.  For the season, Vandy is being outscored by an average of 36-15 with an offense averaging just 252 YPG on 4.3 YP play. 

Today, they face an angry S. Carolina team who has much to prove, despite the 38-35 home victory against rival Georgia.  The Gamecocks have faced one of the most rigorous schedules in the nation.  It has featured offensive powerhouses such as Texas A&M, E. Carolina, and Georgia.  They have allowed an embarrassing 37 PPG and 514 YPG.  This, from a team who has long prided themselves on the defensive side of the ball!  For example, in the previous 3 combined seasons, S. Carolina has allowed just 19 PPG and 311 YPG.  Along with balanced offensive success, the Gamecocks recorded a trio of 11 win seasons.  Much the same is expected this year.  10th year HC Spurrier well realizes, if another double digit season is to become a reality, that a huge confidence building win is essential against such an outmanned foe.  No over confidence for S. Carolina in this spot, as in the two previous seasons, the Gamecocks recorded hard fought victories of 17-13 (2012) and 35-25 (in 2013), despite a 579-268 yardage edge in that game. 

In a rather under the radar, for this bureau, STEAMROLLER selection, I like the Gamecocks to get a much needed confidence building win and continue Vandy in the downward spiral that has not as yet seen the Commodores reach the nadir of their discontent.

College football odds currently list the Gamecocks as 21.5 point faavorites, with the total set at 53. While this number might seem large, the Gamecocks are looking to make a statement here, and we will back a SC cover with our college football picks this Saturday.

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