No. 3 Georgia (-10) at No. 24 South Carolina
Opening Line: -9
Opening Total: 51.5
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Site: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
No. 3 Georgia opened a 9-point favorite on Sunday afternoon, reaching as high as -10.5 in midweek movement. The number sits at -10 Thursday afternoon with the Bulldogs getting 51 percent of tickets across primary offshore sportsbooks. The total, which opened at 51.5, has skyrocketed to 56.5 despite also just 51 percent of action. Wise guys are hammering the wager.
Including his nearly four-year stint as Florida head coach, South Carolina’s (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) Will Muschamp is 6-20 SU and 11-14-1 ATS all-time facing ranked opponents. Generating any scoring has always been the defensive guru’s Achilles heel. Muschamp leads his squads to just 279.8 total yards and 18.0 points per game in the aforementioned scenario. Yikes.
At South Carolina, the number dips to 15.7 points per game. The Gamecocks have mustered more than two touchdowns in just five of seven contests: a 24-21 win hosting then-No. 22 Tennessee in 2016 and a 46-39 defeat versus then-No. 19 South Florida in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl. The Gamecocks kicked off double-digit underdogs in all seven games (+17.1 average).
Georgia (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS), meanwhile, is 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS laying more than a touchdown to SEC rivals under head coach Kirby Smart. Rivals have has a tough time slowing the power running game, Smart’s men romping for 301.1 yards per game on 47.0 carries.
Pick: UNDER 56.5
We’re going against the line movement with this pick. The Gamecocks have eight returning starters on offense. The line is a little stronger, the playmakers a little faster, but it’s not enough to close the gap in this historically lopsided rivalry. The Bulldogs own a 50-18-2 advantage since starting in 1894.
The talent difference between the two is just as wide today as ever. Since 1980, Georgia has kicked off favored by more than a touchdown 17 times. The Gamecocks average 15.6 points per game. They’ll be lucky to hit 20 here, yet Muschamp’s always-competitive defense keeps the Bulldogs honest.