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South Carolina Gamecocks Odds - Offseason departures, brutal schedule will clip wings

Posted by Blake Frazier on 4/18/2012 12:24:05 PM
NCAAF oddsThe South Carolina Gamecocks odds can never be ignored. However, after a respectable 2008 season, SC has major hurdles to overcome in 2009 NCAA football betting. The Gamecocks lost many important bodies in the offseason; that’s why sportsbooks make them a BCS Championship long shot at +8000.

South Carolina Gamecocks odds: Too many obstacles for a successful season

  • Strong pass defense lost several key members of the secondary
  • Unproven quarterback, running backs given the keys to the offense
  • Few teams in college football have a worse schedule

You know your team’s offshore sportsbook hopes are taking a nose dive when your bread and butter loses the pieces that make it go. South Carolina’s pass defense was second in the nation last season, but it will be hard-pressed to repeat that success with the loss of safety Emanuel Cook and corners Captain Munnerlyn, Carlos Thomas and Stoney Woodson. No matter how strong the coaching is, it’s virtually impossible to completely recover after losing that much talent. Thankfully, the pass rush should be strong again thanks to ends Clifton Geathers and Cliff Matthews, so the South Carolina Gamecocks odds of playing competent defense are still decent.

The offensive side of the ball is another story. You’d think a Spurrier-coached unit would set the world on fire, but that wasn’t the case last year. The Gamecocks finished 97th in total offense – 112th in rushing. Worse yet – the most “effective” offensive contributors from a year ago are gone. Quarterback Chris Smelley bolted to play baseball in Alabama and leading rusher Mike Davis packed his bags too. That leaves Stephen Garcia, who threw six touchdown passes versus eight picks in 2008, and Eric Baker, who rushed for 182 yards, as the centerpieces off the offense.

Many betting experts continue to give the South Carolina Gamecocks odds respect, believing Garcia is a naturally talented quarterback who can grow under Spurrier’s tutelage. They also like the depth at running back, believing speedy freshman Jarvis Giles can team with Baker and bullish Brian Maddox to form a deep stable.

However, even if you’re optimistic about the South Carolina Gamecocks odds of fielding a strong team, there’s no escaping the vicious schedule. The Gamecocks face nine bowl teams from a year ago, including three preseason top-10 ranked teams (Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss). They also open the season with road games at N.C. State and Georgia. That’s a downright cruel schedule, and I don’t think the Gamecocks can overcome it.

South Carolina’s development of its youngsters should be fun to watch, but don’t expect much more than a seven- or eight-win season. The Gamecocks lost too many good players and the schedule is devastating.

For South Carolina Gamecocks odds and other sports betting tips, keep reading the Betting Edge at

Blake walked onto his college football team and had a brief stint as an assistant coach after he graduated. He brings a sharp mind to the world of sports handicapping. Blake understands the nuances of the game that only someone who has played would understand. Thoughts or questions?



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