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How To Bet On South Carolina Florida – SEC East Championship Hangs In The Balance This Week

Posted by Blake Frazier on 10/17/2012 6:48:36 PM

The South Carolina Gamecocks and Florida Gators are meeting for first place in the SEC East Division. A lot is on the line when Steve Spurrier faces his former team in Gainesville, Fla.

South Carolina Gamecocks @ Florida Gators – Saturday, October 20    
Football betting line: Florida -3.5

Why South Carolina Will Win

No bet on this game should ignore the centrality and primacy of the fact that Florida is a one-dimensional team on offense. South Carolina's best chance to win this game is rooted in the fact that Florida is a run-first offense that is not particularly proficient at throwing the ball, especially down the field. Florida used an offensive package that was almost exclusively comprised of running plays – 17 in an 18-play sequence – to score two touchdowns in its 14-6 win over LSU a few weeks ago.

The Gators own a reasonably capable running game, but downfield passing has not been a specialty. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has exceeded expectations this season, but only because he has avoided turnovers and not taken too many bad sacks. Florida wins with its defense, having shut out Texas A&M and LSU in the second halves of wins this season while limiting Tennessee to one second-half score in a separate conquest. The Gators might need to pass the ball in key situations against South Carolina, and that's why they are facing a very difficult task.

South Carolina won't merely benefit from the fact that Florida doesn't trust its passing game. The Gamecocks have the kind of defensive line that can take over this contest and force Florida into predictable passing downs. If the Gamecocks can get the Gators into third-and-long down-and-distance scenarios on a regular basis, Driskel will likely face a lot of pressure from stud pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor. Unless Florida can do things early in the game to slow down South Carolina's front four, the Gamecocks will have a great chance of limiting the Gators to a very minimal level of offensive production.

Why Florida Will Win

Even mma betting experts know that Florida can win for the same reasons South Carolina can. The Gators' defense is better than the Gamecocks' offense, but more specifically, South Carolina can't yet be seen as a team with a consistently lethal downfield passing attack.

This is going to be a demanding game for Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw. Coming off a road night game at LSU, one of the toughest places to play in all of college football, Shaw must now play another road game in another daunting environment, The Swamp. The mental challenge of this grueling subsection in South Carolina's schedule is likely to require a level of precision in the passing game that Shaw is not ready to display. Shaw is capable, mind you, of doing great things on occasion, but his credentials as a proven every-down passer have not yet been established. Florida, under head coach Will Muschamp, has established a defense-first identity. It has the athletes in the secondary, especially safety Matt Elam, who can snuff out South Carolina's passing game and take away the Gamecocks' diversity on offense. If Florida can indeed squeeze South Carolina's offense in this fashion, the Gators will gain leverage.

Who Will Win

This is going to be a fairly close game, but on the road, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw will find it difficult to make huge plays in the passing game. Florida's defense has found the answers to problems in the second halves of games all season long. The Gators will do what they need to in the second half. They will cover the number, winning by five or six points.

College Football Betting Pick: Florida

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