Alabama Crimson Tide vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Pick
Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
The Alabama Crimson Tide take their show on the SEC road for their conference opener against the South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday afternoon in Columbia. Alabama is a big betting favorite for this one, but then again, it's always favored by a bunch of points. How are we playing this game for our free college football pick?
College Football Betting Odds
Week 3's college football betting odds opened the Tide at -25.5 over the Gamecocks, with an over/under of 60. Early betting action then bumped Alabama to -26.
Crimson Tide vs. Gamecocks Set-Up
Alabama opened its season two weeks ago with a 42-3 win over Duke, covering as a 34-point favorite. The Tide then rolled over New Mexico State last Saturday 62-10, although they couldn't quite cover as ridiculous 55-point favorites.
Alabama scored 13 seconds into the game against the Aggies on a 75-yard touchdown run by Henry Ruggs, led 21-0 after one quarter and 38-0 at the half. The Tide later had that huge spread pushed, leading 62-7 through three quarters, but gave up a field goal early in the fourth and declined to tack on one more score.
On the day Alabama out-gained New Mexico State 603-262, out-rushed the Aggies 318-101 and won the turnover battle 3-0.
Those numbers don't really mean much, though. The only things that really mattered were the point spread, which was inflated because the Tide was playing at home, and Coach Saban's tendency to take his foot off the gas against lesser non-conference opponents.
Two weeks ago the Tide actually started a bit slowly against the Blue Devils, only led 14-3 at the half, but broke loose for three third-quarter touchdowns and later tacked on one more with five minutes to go for the cover.
South Carolina, meanwhile, opened its season with a 24-20 “upset” loss to North Carolina. The Gamecocks led that game 20-9 through three quarters but gave up the last 15 points of the game to lose outright as 12-point favorites. The Gamecocks then routed Charleston Southern last Saturday 72-10, covering at -36.
South Carolina racked up 775 yards of total offense last week, including 493 on the ground, although it came against a weak FCS defense.
The Gamecocks lost starting quarterback Jake Bentley for the season to a foot injury suffered against the Tar Heels. Freshman Ryan Hilinski looked good against Charleston Southern, but can you imagine going from playing against that defense to Alabama's?
South Carolina got out-gained by North Carolina 483-270, and the Heels just beat Miami last week. So perhaps that season opener wasn't an upset.
Alabama and the Gamecocks may be conference "rivals" but they sure don't meet very often. The last time came back in 2010 when South Carolina upset the then top-ranked Tide 35-21 also in Columbia. But let's face it, the odds of a repeat of that performance Saturday afternoon are mighty slim.
College Football Betting Trends
Alabama is 30-3 SU, 20-13 ATS in true road games over the last eight seasons. The Crimson Tide is also 12-0 SU, 7-4-1 ATS the recent 12 times they've been favored by between 21-28 points.
South Carolina is 15-6 SU but only 10-11 ATS at home under Coach Muschamp. The Gamecocks are also 4-4 ATS as home dogs over that span, and 5-4 ATS as double-digit dogs.
Through the first two weeks of this college football betting, season teams ranked in the AP Top 25 are 39-4 SU, 23-18-2 ATS vs. un-ranked teams.
- Alabama's win over Duke two weeks ago played under a total of 57, while the win over New Mexico State last week played over a total of 65. Last year overs played 9-5-1 in Crimson Tide games, mainly thanks to the Alabama offense.
- South Carolina's loss to UNC two weeks ago played under a total of 62, while the win over Charleston Southern played over a total of 45. Last year overs played 7-6-1 in Gamecocks games.
- Get more details: Alabama at South Carolina NCAAF Match-up Stats
Crimson Tide vs Gamecocks Prediction 09/14/2019
Alabama's going to win this game, so the only thing that really matters is the point spread. If this game were being played in Tuscaloosa, the Tide would probably be favored by 33-34 points, but playing on the road means the spread is a bit more amenable. Also, while Coach Saban has shown a tendency to ease up on lesser non-conference foes, he doesn't do that with SEC opponents or former assistant coaches. We're betting 'Bama here, and we're getting down early before that spread goes any higher.
Take Alabama -26