Outback Bowl: Defenses Rule in Gamecocks/Wolverines Matchup

outback bowl

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 7:53 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 7:53 PM UTC

The South Carolina Gamecocks and Michigan Wolverines and will tangle in the Outback Bowl in sunny Tampa, Florida on New Year’s Day. Let’s review the college football odds and determine which side is poised to cash a ticket! 

South Carolina (8-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Michigan (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)

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Free College Football Pick: South Carolina +8 & Under 43Best Line Offered: at GTBets
  • Michigan is 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss.
  • Michigan is 1-8 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win.
  • Michigan is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games on grass.
  • South Carolina is 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site games.
  • South Carolina is 4-1 ATS in their last five Bowl games.
  • South Carolina is 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.

The Wolverines come into this one after a disappointing 2017 campaign. Michigan secured consecutive 10-win seasons in head coach Jim Harbaugh’s first two years at the helm but this season their offense was devoid of anything close to resembling explosive. As they enter the Outback Bowl, the Wolverines find themselves with an 8-4 record and an offense that ranks 90th in the nation, averaging 25.8 points per game, and a passing attack that averaged just 168.6 yards per game (112th in the nation). However, defensively this team has been stout. Michigan boasts the No. 14 ranked defense in the country, allowing a mere 18.3 points per game.

The Gamecocks sport an identical record to the Wolverines but while the fans in Ann Arbor are no doubt underwhelmed by their team’s season, the same cannot be said for an overachieving South Carolina squad. The Gamecocks ended last season with a 6-7 mark and fell to South Florida 46-39 in an overtime thriller. It should be noted that two of the Gamecocks’ four losses came against powerhouses Georgia and Clemson, both currently vying for a national championship. Like Michigan, South Carolina has a pedestrian at best offense but a defense that is tied for 26th in the nation, surrendering 20.8 points per game.

I am looking at this contest as a grinding, rushing oriented game that will feature plenty of punts and will be a contest based on which defense proves to be better that day. Field position and field goals may ultimately determine the winner in this game which means that South Carolina should have plenty of room to cover this number, particularly when one considers that the college football odds as of this writing, 10 days before kickoff, reflect Michigan as 7 ½ point favorites virtually across the board. However, we have spied South Carolina +8 at GTBets which is where you should think about placing your college football picks in this matchup.

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