College Football Picks: Clemson vs. South Carolina

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 8:31 PM GMT

The Palmetto Bowlis the 111th meeting between the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks. With both teams nationally ranked in the top 10, this should be exciting.  We break down the college football odds to give you the college football picks with the most value.

Some rivalries on the college gridiron are borne from close proximities on maps, such as Harvard and Yale. Others hold national interests like Army-Navy. Some simply develop over time, and with the help of television money, like USC vs. Notre Dame.

And then there are rivalries that result from disagreements on the importance of farming in general, and the budget for an agriculture education department in particular.

The Palmetto Bowl to traditionalists, Hardee's Trophy to the corporate Kool-Aid drinking masses, is up on this week's college football betting slate. It's the 111th meeting between the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks, with ESPN2's broadcast beginning Saturday at 7 PM (ET).

South Carolina, 10th in the latest BCS Standings, is listed as 5 point chalk after opening a point higher over the No. 6 Tigers. The total is forthcoming, so keep an eye on SBR's live college football odds for that number once it's released.

Gamecocks Riding 4-Game Win Streak In Series

This year's collision between the longtime rivals finds very similar circumstances to last season's battle at Clemson. The Tigers (10-1 straight up, 6-5 against the spread) enter the tilt with just one loss on their record just as they did in 2012, and the lone defeat once again came at the hands of Florida State.

Meanwhile, South Carolina (9-2 SU, 5-6 ATS) is also heading into the contest with the same 9-2 mark the Gamecocks had when facing Clemson a year ago. Both teams also hit the turf at Williams-Brice Stadium this week with 4-game win streaks in progress.

The Gamecocks not only can increase their present string to five consecutive victories, they can up their current run to five straight wins over Clemson with a dubya on Saturday. Steve Spurrier's squad made it four straight with a 27-17 upset of the Tigers last November, the match closing with Clemson backers giving up 6.5 points. South Carolina covered all four of the wins, with the last three staying 'under' the total.

Clemson leads the all-time series with a 65-41-4 mark, last beating USC in 2008 at home. Though the Tigers have lost their two subsequent visits to Columbia, they have been successful when traveling to face South Carolina where they've won nine of the last 12 trips.

[gameodds]6/250783/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Tigers, 'Cocks Tune Up For Clash With Lopsided Wins

Neither squad got much of a test as they warmed up for this in-state battle with matchups against other Palmetto State schools. The Gamecocks routed Costal Carolina, 70-7, easily their season-high on the scoreboard and the most points USC had scored since a 73-0 laugher against Wichita State in 1980. South Carolina backers had the -34.5 cover set by sportsbooks in hand less than four minutes into the second quarter, and five different quarterbacks got into the action with at least one pass completion.

The Tigers had almost as easy of a time against The Citadel, covering a 40.5 point line in a 52-6 decision. Tajh Boyd threw five touchdowns for the second time this season and Clemson scored at least 50 points for the third consecutive game.

Both teams look to be about as healthy as one could reasonably expect this time of year. Mike Davis, South Carolina's No. 1 tailback, is probable after sitting out last week's win vs. Coastal Carolina with a shoulder injury. Backup running back CJ Davidson of Clemson is questionable with a banged-up knee.

Clear and cool is the current forecast for Columbia on Saturday. Kickoff should find the thermometer in the mid-to-upper 40s, and the weatherman is only calling for a slight NE breeze. Don't forget to check the latest conditions and forecasts before making your wager.

Two pretty solid defenses should help keep this contest close, perhaps going down to a late boot to decide it. For that reason, I'm going to take the visitors as well as the points and add Clemson to my college football picks.

My pick: Clemson +5

Season: 25-10 (+14.0)