Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks: NCAAF Picks

Steve Merril -

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 8:38 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 8:38 PM UTC

One of the biggest rivalry games on Saturday’s college football schedule will be played at 7:00 pm ET on espn2 when #6 Clemson visits #10 South Carolina. How do we recommend approaching this matchup from a College Football betting standpoint?

College Football odds have South Carolina listed as 5-point home favorites on the betting line with the total currently sitting at 58 at the majority of online sportsbooks.


This is the 111th meeting between the Tigers and Gamecocks with Clemson holding the overall edge in the series with a 65-41-4 record. However, South Carolina has beaten Clemson four straight years while holding the Tigers to 17 points or less in all four of those games.

Read another capper's take on this game here: College Football Picks: Clemson vs. South Carolina

Clemson comes into this game at 10-1 SU and 6-5 ATS. Their lone loss this season came to arguably the best team in the country when Florida State beat the Tigers 51-14. We picked the Seminoles to win and cover that game so the result is easily excusable. In their other ten games, Clemson owns a +28 scoring margin per game which shows how dominant they’ve been this season.

The Clemson Tigers’ offense is potent as they are averaging 40.1 points and 512.6 yards per game. Clemson is averaging 8.9 yards per pass attempt which ranks them #10 in the country. They also run the ball extremely well as they are averaging 174.1 rushing yards per game on 4.0 yards per rush. They are well-balanced as they run 52% of the time and pass 48% of the time. 

Clemson’s defense has been solid this season. They allow a respectable 22.6 points per game while giving up 386 yards of total offense to their opponents. The Tigers hold teams to just 5.2 yards per play and 6.9 yards per pass attempt. Their defense also comes up big on third down as they are holding opponents to a 29.2% conversion rate which ranks them #4 in the country in that important defensive category. 

South Carolina is 9-2 SU but just 5-6 ATS. One of their losses came at Georgia which certainly carries no shame. But losing at Tennessee was bad. If we eliminate the Gamecocks 70-10 win over FCS Coastal Carolina last week, they only own a +13.5 scoring margin per game; that’s 14.5 points less than Clemson. 

The Gamecocks’ defense has also been much stronger in year’s past. They’ve been able to dominate Clemson because of their defense, but this year’s stop unit is down quite a few notches. South Carolina actually has a weaker defense than Clemson this season. While they are only allowing 21.3 points per game overall, they are giving up 5.3 yards per play and 7.1 yards per pass attempt. Both of those numbers are higher than Clemson’s in those two important defensive categories. 

South Carolina’s offense has been very inconsistent all season. They’ve had many quarterback issues because of injuries, and they just haven’t been able to score enough points to separate themselves from their opponents. The Gamecock’s have scored 28 points or less in five games this season, and it’s a major reason why they are just 3-5 ATS as a favorite against FBS opposition this season. South Carolina has won four games this season by 7 points or less. 

Clemson has an excellent shot at snapping their 4-game losing streak to South Carolina in this game. The Tigers own the better offense and the better defense, and my power ratings say Clemson would be favored over South Carolina on a neutral field. We see a lot of value in getting a handful of points so we’ll back Clemson with our College Football picks in this game on Saturday night.

Play CLEMSON (+).
comment here