The Michigan Wolverines and South Carolina Gamecocks are getting ready to square off on New Year's Day, as the two teams have been selected to play in the 2013 Outback Bowl, which takes place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
USC finished the season ranked No. 10 overall, with a 10-2 record and the only losses coming against Florida and Georgia—two tough SEC opponents. UofM didn’t fare as well, going 8-4 but still landing the No. 18 ranking in the final BCS poll.
Let’s take a look at how to bet this thrilling SEC vs. Big Ten matchup against the spread and on the point total in our complete Outback Bowl gambling guide.
*Lines courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com.
Point Spread: South Carolina -5 over Michigan
We’re going with the Gamecocks to cover in this contest, and would take them laying anywhere up to 6.5 points.
In 2012, South Carolina has been kind to backers, covering in 75 percent of their games as favorites. On the other hand, Michigan isn’t a great underdog, cashing tickets in just 25 percent of the matchups they went into against stronger opponents.
Aside from trend sheet information, the Wolverines plan to start unproven QB Devin Gardner over longtime starter Denard Robinson—who will also get “some” snaps under center.
This inconsistency at the position will doom the Wolverines to yet another loss in a disappointing season full of them. Expect elite USC pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to have an absolute field day against an overmatched line and an overwhelmed QB duo.
Over/Under: Under 48
This is a tough bet that could go either way, but we’re leaning towards the over.
Both defenses will be a bit rusty after a long layoff between their respective season finales and this bowl game. The trends don’t tell much, as the Wolverines had an even split between over and under totals this past season, while the Gamecocks were a shade higher in the over department, going over in 63.6 percent of their contests.
It truly depends on how the Gardner/Robinson platoon works out, as Michigan will either have trouble scoring or put plenty of points up on the board.
We expect the former, and believe the speed and intensity of the South Carolina defenders will deny Michigan from reaching the end zone on numerous occasions.