South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Date and Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Opening College Football Odds: Georgia -23.5
South Carolina vs. Georgia TV Coverage: CBS
The South Carolina team is getting mighty interesting. The Gamecocks have won three games in a row, and with each passing game, Jake Bentley looks better and better under center.
The raw stats for the Gamecocks aren't great. They're averaging just 345.4 yards and 26.2 points per game this season, both marks that rank in the bottom fourth of America. Still, they're snapping the ball just 61 times per game, and that controlled tempo is what has kept them around in the SEC East title race with a third of the year left to be played.
Bentley made it through the entire month of October without throwing an interception. His 1,759 passing yards and 7.3 yards per pass attempt aren't all that impressive, but 13 touchdowns against four picks on 241 throws is something he can hang his hat on.
But the SEC East is for the Dawgs this year. Kirby Smart's team is almost certain to be the No. 2 team in the first College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, and there are plenty of paths at the end of the season to getting into the last four, some of which don't even necessarily include winning the SEC title game in Atlanta.
It's easy to give credit to this defense for holding teams to just 11.9 points per game thus far, but the Bulldogs have an offense averaging 38.1 points per game, including scoring at least 41 points in four games in a row. Those 42 points against Florida in the "World's Largest Cocktail Party" last week in Jacksonville weren't cheap for sure.
7 – The number of pass attempts Jake Fromm threw last week against Florida.
Fromm has yet to throw the ball 30 times in a game in his career, and he's only had one game with more than 201 passing yards. We know that he can uncork the ball way down the field and make some big plays happen, but we still don't know if the frosh can really step back and deliver strike after strike in a close game.
In this exact same space last week, we said that Florida had to make Fromm throw the ball to win – it didn't. The task is exactly the same for Will Muschamp's defense.
South Carolina vs. Georgia Free Picks
The Gamecocks are holding teams to just 3.8 yards per carry this year. Trying to stop the four-headed monster of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, D'Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield, all of whom are averaging at least 6.4 yards per carry has been impossible for the rest of the nation this year.
This is still a boatload of respect to be giving the Dawgs at this point, and we think the oddsmakers made a huge mistake by lining them at -23.5 at the best online sportsbooks. These Gamecocks have been beaten by more than two touchdowns exactly once in the last two full calendar years, and that came last season against a Clemson team that went on to win the National Championship.
We're not saying that the Gamecocks are pulling off this upset, but we think they'd be worth a flyer at this point as double-digit underdogs. We suspect this will be a tighter game than most UGA has played of late.
College Football ATS Pick: South Carolina +23.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Georgia 27, South Carolina 20