College Football Week 13: Expect Low-Scoring South Carolina-Clemson Rivalry Game

Deshaun Watson running the ball

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, November 24, 2016 6:49 PM GMT

SBR college football handicapping professional Ross Benjamin previews Saturday’s rivalry game between South Carolina and Clemson. He has a keen interest on the total and has a stellar 40-20 record on his college football picks in 2016.

 

South Carolina At No. 4 Clemson

The kickoff at Clemson Memorial Stadium on Saturday is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised by ESPN. Clemson has defeated South Carolina in each of the past 2 seasons. The Tigers won 37-32 last year but failed to cover as a 20.5-point road favorite. As a matter of fact, South Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its previous 7 games against Clemson.

As of this writing, college football betting odds at BetOnline.com indicate that Clemson is a 24.0-point home favorite and there’s a posted total of 50.0. If you’re in search of a reputable place to bet, BetOnline is considered one of the top online betting sites.

 

Gamecocks' Misleading Record

Kudos goes to Will Muschamp and the job he has done in his first year as head coach at South Carolina. The Gamecocks will enter their final regular-season game on Saturday with a 6-5 record and are bowl eligible. Considering they went 3-9 a season ago, it’ has certainly been an encouraging sign. However, USC's 5 wins against FBS opponents this year are against teams a combined 21-34 (.382). The Cocks have just one win against a team (Tennessee) that currently has a winning record.

 

Clemson’s Impressive Resume

Clemson has too much on the line to look beyond this game. The Tigers used their mulligan in a shocking home upset loss to Pittsburgh two weeks back. Despite that defeat, beating South Carolina on Saturday and winning the ACC Championship Game (likely vs. Virginia Tech) will be enough to receive a a second straight invitation into the College Football Playoff. The Tigers are 10-1 and their 9 wins vs. FBS opponents were against teams that presently have a cumulative record of 60-38 (.612). The Tigers have earned the favorable position they’re in right now.

 

Final Analysis

I always try my best to refrain from betting on a favorite laying this many points and especially when there’s a high volume of games from which to choose Conversely, I also won’t bet on an underdog that doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning. Stranger things have happened, but I don’t see this as one of those rare times when it occurs.

It leads me to the total. South Carolina has gone 'under' the total in all 4 of its road games this season and there was a paltry average of 29.5 points combined scored per contest. This will be the seventh time this season in which USC has been installed as an underdog and it went 'under' the number on each of the previous 6 occasions. Both Clemson and South Carolina are statistically among the best defensive teams in the country. Nevertheless, South Carolina has been one of the worst offensive teams in the nation. I like this game to be a low-scoring affair relative to the total, and one of my college football picks will reflect that prediction.

NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under' 50Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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