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South Carolina Florida Betting – Gamecocks, Gators Vie For SEC East Championship

Posted by Blake Frazier on 11/10/2010 12:35:12 PM
south carolina florida betting

The South Carolina Gamecocks have never won the SEC East. The Florida Gators have won the division more than anyone else. These two schools compete for hardware on Saturday night.

NCAA football betting: South Carolina Gamecocks @ Florida Gators
Online Betting Odds: Florida -6.5

Why To Bet On South Carolina

The best thing going for the Gamecocks is that Florida’s offense is not particularly threatening. Don’t be fooled by Florida’s 55-14 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores last weekend. The Gators’ passing attack has been erratic and spotty all season long, with Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio scrambling madly, and often with great futility, in the attempt to generate consistent production from his skill people.

John Brantley, Trey Burton, and now Jordan Reed are all taking snaps under center, and Florida is shifting players on many of its plays. Brantley will line up as a wide receiver or a slot back and then shift to the quarterback spot. This is designed to throw off defenses, but the Gamecocks should be able to study film and identify these kinds of plays. It’s true that South Carolina’s secondary has gotten torched in recent weeks by the Tennessee Volunteers and Arkansas Razorbacks, but Florida’s offense – while a little bit better in recent weeks – has been helped by turnovers and blocked punts generated by the Gators’ defensive and special-teams units.

If Florida gets no really big break in this game and is forced to march the ball 70, 80 or 90 yards down the field, South Carolina should like its chances. As long as Florida doesn’t get short fields or non-offensive touchdowns, this should be a very close game heading down to the wire.

Why To Bet On Florida

The best thing to say about Florida’s chances in this game are rooted in the fact that South Carolina has not looked or acted like a big-time team after it knocked off then-No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 9. South Carolina has split the four games it has played since then and has not looked very good. Ever since team MVP, star running back Marcus Lattimore, suffered an ankle sprain in the third quarter of a wrenching 31-28 loss at the Kentucky Wildcats, the Gamecocks’ offense has looked uncertain and lost on most occasions. Quarterback Stephen Garcia needed a fully healthy Lattimore to take the pressure off opposing defenses, and while Lattimore will play Saturday, he’s not 100 percent after all the bumps and bruises he’s accumulated in his freshman season.

South Carolina also suffered an injury to its center and to other lineman in last weekend’s ugly 41-20 loss to Arkansas. The Gamecocks’ offensive line thrived against the Alabama Crimson Tide and in the first half against Kentucky, but it has not performed terribly well since then; a win over Tennessee on Oct. 30 was an exception. All in all, South Carolina is not healthy and not particularly confident, either. The Gamecocks do not appear ready to wrest the SEC East away from Florida.

How The Game Will Play Out

Florida has a big advantage playing this game at home. The crowd will be loud, and that will bother Garcia, South Carolina’s mistake-prone quarterback. Only once in the past did South Carolina ever have a chance to win the SEC East. That was in 2000 at Florida. The Gamecocks bolted to a 21-3 lead, but the Gators came roaring back to win in the second half. This year, don’t expect Carolina to build an 18-point lead, but don’t expect Florida to run away with this game. Both offenses are unproven; Florida’s offense has played better recently, but the Gators have still been a train-wreck on that side of the ball for most of 2010.

Whoever makes more crucial errors will lose, and whoever can be more opportunistic will win. Don’t expect long scoring drives; maybe teams will cover 70 yards, but they’ll do so thanks to big plays that come from great individual efforts or alarming breakdowns by the opposing defense. This is a hard game to predict. All in all, it’s likely that Florida will win, but maybe not by a touchdown. This feels like a field-goal game that will be decided in the final minutes.

South Carolina Florida Betting Pick: South Carolina

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