Bet Missouri Points vs. South Carolina College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 3:41 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 24, 2014 3:41 PM GMT

Missouri led South Carolina last year 17-0 through three quarters, but blew that lead and lost in overtime, one of just three games in which it didn't cover the spread. The Tigers get their shot at revenge when they visit the other Columbia Saturday night (7 pm ET, ESPN). Here's our breakdown of this match-up, with a free college football pick thrown in at the end. 

The Betting Odds
Most of the college football odds opened South Carolina at -5.5 points over Missouri, with a total of 63, and both those numbers had held steady in the early betting. The Tigers could also be gotten at around +190 to win this game straight-up on the CFB moneyline.

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The Match-Up
South Carolina is off to a 3-1 start to this season, but is only 1-3 ATS. The Gamecocks opened with that 52-28 loss as 10-point home favorites against Texas A&M, but have since won three in a row, over East Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt. SC beat the Pirates 33-23 but couldn't cover at -14; then upset the Bulldogs 38-35 as a six-point home dog; and last week the Gamecocks won at Vanderbilt 48-34, but couldn't cover as a 23-point road favorite.

SC outgained and outrushed Vandy and won the time-of-possession battle by a 31-29 margin, all of which often leads to covering pointspreads. But the Gamecocks also gave up two touchdowns on kickoff returns. Wonder if the 'ol ball coach is concentrating on kick coverage at practice this week?

Two weeks ago SC outgained Georgia and also won that ToP battle by a 31-29 edge.

South Carolina returned 14 starters this year from a team that went 11-2 last year. Eight starters came back on offense, including last year's leading rusher and four along the O line, and six came back on defense. The 'Cocks did have some key holes to fill, though, with the departures of their starting QB, leading receiver and a DE who went as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Missouri, meanwhile, is 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS. The Tigers opened with a 38-18 victory over FCS South Dakota State, but couldn't cover at -25. They then won at Toledo 49-24, easily covering as four-point road faves. They followed that up with a 38-10 home win over Central Florida, covering at -10. But last week Mizzou got upset at home by Indiana 31-27, losing outright as two-touchdown chalk on a Hoosiers touchdown with 20 seconds left.

The Tigers put up 503 yards of offense last week and held the ball for over 33 minutes, but gave up 493 yards, 241 on the ground.

That game stayed UNDER its total of 71 points. 

Missouri returned just eight starters this season, tied for second-fewest in all of FBS, from the team that went 12-2 last year. Just four starters returned on offense, after the losses of their starting QB and last year's leading rusher and top three receivers. And just four starters returned on defense.

In the comparison of the two quarterbacks for this game, both of whom are replacing starters from last season, Missouri's Maty Mauk has completed 62 percent of his throws this year for a 14/4 TD/INT ratio, while South Carolina's Dylan Thompson has hit on 62 percent of his passes for an 11/3 TD/INT ratio.

 

Tigers-Gamecocks Recent History
South Carolina has beaten Missouri in both meetings since the Tigers joined the SEC. Two years ago the Gamecocks won at home 31-10, covering as 10-point favorites, and last year SC rallied to steal a 27-24 decision in overtime at Mizzou. The 'Cocks trailed that game last year 17-0 through three quarters, rallied to force overtime, then got lucky when the Tigers' kicker bounced a short FG attempt that would have forced a third OT off an upright.

South Carolina got outplayed for three quarters that day, but in the end outgained Missouri 498-404.

 

Tigers-Gamecocks Betting Trends
Missouri is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games as a dog on the road, and 6-1 ATS in its last seven SEC road games.

 

Free College Football Pick
The Tigers suffered a bit of a letdown last week, after two impressive wins prior. And Mauk, while just a sophomore, has shown a great play-making ability. So in a game that looks like it might be decided by a field goal or so we'll take the points with underdog Mizzou, getting 5.5 at 5Dimes, for our free college football pick here.

 

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