With their 31-6 pummeling of the Florida Gators last Saturday, the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide improved to a flawless 5-0 record. More importantly to the college football betting audience, they covered their fourth game of the year out of five attempts. Next up for the Tide is the #19 South Carolina Gamecocks. Sportsbook.com expects the Tide to roll again as they are hefty 7.5 road favorites, while the 'total' is currently 47.5 points.
The Gamecocks are coming off their bye week, but the last time they took the field they suffered their first loss of the season; a 35-27 defeat to the Auburn Tigers. They also failed to cover the point spread for the second game in a row; they are now 2-2 against the spread (ATS) for the season.
In their defeat to Auburn, South Carolina’s defense was exposed on the ground. The Tigers’ rushing attack exploded for 334 yards on 57 caries. If South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier doesn’t have his defense in check, they will have a hard time covering the point spread, let alone pulling the upset as they'll face Alabama's rushing juggernaut which averages almost 230 yards per game on the ground.
As everyone knows, Bama's rushing attack is led by Mark Ingram. Since missing the first two games, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner has tallied 355 yards and six touchdowns.
Last season versus South Carolina, Ingram averaged 10.3 yards per carry en route to ripping off 246 yards and a touchdown. Bama won 20-6; however, South Carolina bettors didn’t mind as they covered the 17.5 point spread.
To make matters worse, the ‘Cocks are a bit banged up on defense with numerous starters expected to play hurt, except for linebacker Shaq Wilson who appears to be done for the season.
Speaking of injuries, Alabama’s star wide receiver Julio Jones is nursing a bruised knee but is expected to play. In last year’s victory against South Carolina Jones failed to catch a pass. Quarterback Greg McElroy also struggled completing just 10-20 passes for 92 yards and an interception. This season South Carolina’s defense gives up 240.3 passing yards per game, so perhaps they’ll have more success on Saturday.
As far as South Carolina’s passing attack is concerned, there appeared to be a QB controversy during the Auburn loss. Starter Stephen Garcia was yanked by Spurrier after the second of two fourth quarter fumbles, replacing him with freshman Connor Shaw. Spurrier later stated that Garcia will indeed start versus the Tide.
Alabama’s defensive backfield is young, but through five games is surrendering just 191.4 passing yards per game. Even more impressive, opposing quarterbacks have combined for only one touchdown to eleven interceptions. Garcia could be in for a long day…
Oddsauthority.com Alabama vs. South Carolina pick and prediction
Ingram and his running-mate Trent Richardson will once again do their thing; churning out one long gain after the other. Garcia will be in way over his head and will face plenty of 3rd and longs; resulting in turnovers and punts.
Playing on the road hasn’t affected Bama’s covering prowess recently as they are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games away from home. They’ll make it 9 out of 11 on Saturday.
Get over to Sportsbook.com and bet Alabama -7.5 points now.