The Texas A&M Aggies finished 2013 by dropping four games in a row against the spread, while the South Carolina Gamecocks were 5-1 against the line during their six-game winning streak to close out last season.
The Gamecocks have also seen the under go 4-0 in their last four SEC games. However, each team has undergone some major changes from a personnel perspective heading into their 2014 season opener on Thursday that could definitely impact whether or not those betting trends continue in the same direction.
Point spread: Gamecocks opened as 13-point favorites; the total was 58 at Williams-Brice Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 43.0-41.4 Gamecocks
Why the Texas A&M Aggies can cover the spread
The Aggies will be facing a team with a new starting QB in South Carolina senior Dylan Thompson. While Thompson is 3-0 as a starter, he still gave way to Connor Shaw for a majority of his career. The Gamecocks could struggle to cover a double-digit spread at home against Texas A&M to open the season, even with Johnny Manziel no longer on the Aggies' roster.
The Gamecocks are also not that familiar with the Aggies, who joined the conference two seasons ago, so this game could be much closer than expected, allowing Texas A&M to cover the number.
Why the South Carolina Gamecocks can cover the spread
Texas A&M will need some time adjusting to life without quarterback Manziel, who left after two years for the greener pastures of the NFL. Losing Manziel will be tougher for the Aggies to deal with than the Gamecocks losing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Texas A&M will see sophomore Kenny Hill make his first career start after completing 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown in four relief appearances for Johnny Football last year.
South Carolina has won 16 straight home games SU, but can they cash a ticket ATS?
How well each of these squads adjusts to playing without former stars Manziel and Clowney will likely dictate the tempo of the game. While both sides have outstanding offensive minds on their respective sidelines in Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, it’s too hard to overlook the inexperience at QB and how that will limit them on the scoreboard.
Expect the Gamecocks to make a strong defensive statement out of the gates, win their 19th straight home game and extend their under streak on Thursday nights to 7-1-1.
Gamecocks vs Aggies Trends:
Aggies were 0-4 ATS on the road last season
South Carolina won 18 straight home games since Oct. 2011
Note: All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury updates and line move updates and get the free odds tracker app.