College Football Picks: Vanderbilt & South Carolina to Light Up the Scoreboard

Willie Bee

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 12:42 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 12:42 PM UTC

Neither Vanderbilt nor South Carolina has notched a dubya in SEC play, but that isn't stopping us from previewing their Saturday matchup with a free college football pick.

It may be the only reason, but the fact the Vanderbilt Commodores and South Carolina Gamecocks are each still looking for their first Southeastern Conference victory at least gives us one reason to be interested in their Saturday afternoon matchup.

College football bettors, of course, always have a reason to be interested in any game and the SEC Network has enough interest to broadcast the 4 PM (ET) boot, presumably from Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks had their home tilt last week against LSU moved to Baton Rouge due to the record flooding in South Carolina, but officials are moving forward to play this week's game in Columbia.

The possibility that it might be moved might have been behind some early movement on the college football odds, and the announcement that USC head coach Steve Spurrier was retiring kept the ball rolling. BetOnline came out with the Gamecocks favored by 8 before the spread was immediately chopped down to -5½ on Monday and then 3½ Tuesday morning. A total of 44 was struck for openers and that number remains.

Wherever the game is played, the 'Dores and 'Cocks bring a combined 0-6 SEC record into the 25th clash in the series. It's a series that has belonged almost entirely to South Carolina with six consecutive wins in the series and a 20-4 record all-time vs. Vanderbilt. The last time the Commodores beat USC was 2008 in Nashville, the season before that marking the last time they one in Columbia. The last two confrontations skipped past the totals after a 6-game run for the 'under.' Vandy has covered the last three, and six of the last eight.


Did Commodores Take MTSU Too Lightly?
Vanderbilt (2-3 straight up, 3-1-1 against the spread) hasn't had a lot of trouble moving the football, the offense in the top third of the country when it comes to passing yards while Ralph Webb has decent numbers running the pigskin. The yardage hasn't translated into a lot of points, though, with the Commodores scoring just over 21 per game.

So it's a good thing the stop unit has been doing its job or else Vandy might be without a single win to this point. The Commodores rank 25th allowing less than 321 yards a game, and 26th giving up 18.4 points per contest. The defense did its job last week against Middle Tennessee State, holding the Blue Raiders to 13 points and 320 yards, but it took a late surge by the offense to eke out a 17-13 victory in a game Vanderbilt was supposed to win by 49½.

Assuming sophomore quarterback Johnny McCrary can avoid throwing picks (7 on season), the Commodores might have one of their best offensive outputs of the year. South Carolina ranks 99th in the country giving up 428 YPG and 85th surrendering 29 PPG.

Must Read: Sharp Week 7 Early Betting Lines to Play & Win

USC To Name Spurrier's Replacement Tuesday
The first question one might ask about this one is when was the last time South Carolina (2-4 SU & ATS) started a season 0-5 in conference play? The answer would be 1999 when the Gamecocks were in the midst of 19 consecutive SEC losses and experiencing a winless season overall. After having to play LSU on the road last week because of the rains, it's certainly not going to make preparations this week any easier.

Even before news leaked Monday evening that Spurrier was stepping down, speculation was already growing about the Ol' Ball Coach's future in Columbia. A press conference is scheduled later today (Tuesday) at which time an interim coach will be named. Whoever that is certainly has their work cut out for them with road games still coming up at Texas A&M and Florida plus home matchups vs. Florida and Clemson.

The good news is rain won't be around the rest of the week in Columbia, giving the area time to dry out a little and leave a sunny, crisp fall afternoon on Saturday. The series trend says play the 'under,' but I'm going the other way with my free NCAA football pick.

College Footbal Pick: Vanderbilt-South Carolina Over 44

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