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College Football Week 8 Predictions: South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida Gators

Jeff GrantContributor IDecember 29, 2016

College Football Week 8 Predictions: South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida Gators

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    Running back Marcus Lattimore's status is uncertain for Saturday's Southeastern Conference showdown between the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1) and Florida Gators (6-0), as the two teams will kick things off at 3:30 p.m. ET inside The Swamp on CBS.

    The Gamecocks are currently 3.5-point road underdogs in the Week 8 college football betting odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total has fallen three points from its opening number to settle in at 41.

    Lattimore was spectacular in his only game against the Gators on Nov. 13, 2010, as he rushed a career-high 40 times for a career-high 212 yards in leading the program to its first-ever win on the road in this series.

    Let's take a closer look at this high-profile affair from a betting perspective, while offering a pick on the total along the way.  

South Carolina Gamecocks

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    In picking the South Carolina Gamecocks as three-point road underdogs against the LSU Tigers in last week's 23-21 loss, I mentioned that quarterback Connor Shaw would need to make some plays in the passing game—something he was unable to do until the closing stages of that contest.

    The Gamecocks were out-gained by a sizable 406-211 margin inside Tiger Stadium, as Shaw completed 19-of-34 passes for 177 yards, while throwing a pair of touchdowns and interceptions.

    I think he'll build off that performance, which could lead to the team going OVER the total for the seventh time in eight tries after gaining less than 275 total yards in its previous game.

Florida Gators

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    Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp has thrived in the underdog role this year, but he won't have that luxury in the betting market on Saturday.

    The Gators have lost and failed to cover the spread in their last two opportunities as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points, which is a big reason why I can't suggest laying the points in this matchup.

Las Vegas Perspective

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    I reached out to Jimmy Vaccaro earlier this week about this high-profile affair. He serves as the public relations director for William Hill US, and here's what he had to say:

    Florida eeks it out. The Marcus Lattimore injury will be the key. Two teams this even, that makes a huge difference.

Prediction

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    Marcus Lattimore's injury was announced after I taped this video on Tuesday afternoon, but I believe South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier can game plan around it and still find success against the Florida Gators.

    The OVER is also 4-2 in the Gators' last six games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points, while the Gamecocks have climbed above the number in five of their last six games as an underdog.  

    College Football Week 8 Total Pick: Over 41

     

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