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Tennessee Volunteers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Football Week Nine Betting Preview – October 29, 2016

Tennessee Volunteers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Football Week Nine Betting Preview – October 29, 2016

Tennessee Volunteers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Preview

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium — Columbia, South Carolina

When: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 7:15 PM ET

Line: Tennessee Volunteers (-13.5) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (+13.5); total: 50.5 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN

College Football News and Previews

Betting on the Tennessee Volunteers (-13.5)

The Tennessee Volunteers are coming off a bye week and consecutive defeats before that (a double OT, 45-38 thriller against the Aggies and a 49-10 blowout versus the Crimson Tide). There’s no more room for a loss if they want to reach the SEC title game.

QB Joshua Dobbs who was quite ineffective in Week 8, throwing for only 92 yards, will have another tough challenge Saturday, as he will face a South Carolina defense that only allows 183.6 passing yards per game. Adding to the adversity is the injury of Alvin Kamara, a key part of the Volunteers offense. The pass-catching back is splitting carries with primary back Jalen Hurd, but currently leads the team in receptions (22) and yards from scrimmage (576). He will miss at least the next four weeks due to various knee problems.

In the absence, expect Hurd to have a heavier workload. The junior has to raise his game, though. His yardage numbers are down from last year, most notably his ability to get to the end zone, as he only has two in seven games this year. The 3.8 per yards carry is too low as well, especially at the college level.

The stop unit has some injuries, such as junior Jaleen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder), a DB/LB that has can pile up the TFL (tackles for loss) stat category night in, night out. That said, there’s enough talent on their defense, and they should be able to survive the Gamecocks’ offense that only produces 317 yards per contest.

The Volunteers are 5-5 SU (6-4 ATS) in their last 10 games on the road.

Betting on the South Carolina Gamecocks (+13.5)

With starting QB Brandon McIlwain struggling (52.8 completion rate, two TDs and one INT in five games), the Gamecocks opted for backup Jake Bentley for Week 8. The linebacker-turned-QB produced well in the 34-28 win over UMass, completing 17 of his 26 passes for 201 yards and two TDs. The team will again have Bentley under center on Saturday according to coach Will Muschamp.

That said, South Carolina’s room for improvement on offense is about as big as their stadium, ranking dead-last in scoring, with a 14.8 average. It’s a trend in a lot of offensive stats, like yards per carry (3.2 – 122nd), rushing yards, (106.9 – 123rd), total yards (317.4 – 123rd), touchdowns (0.6 – 123rd), and rushing first downs (5.7 – 126th) per game. It’s probably the reason why they are considered +13.5 underdogs on their home field.

Defensively, they are almost the complete opposite, as they are 20th in points allowed (18.6 per game) and 18th in passing yards allowed (183.6 per game). They should, however, do better on rushing the passer (1.7 sacks per game), which is needed in facing Dobbs and his receivers. It’ll be an interesting matchup since the Volunteers’ O-Line has been getting wrecked in an awful lot of snaps.

The Gamecocks are 4-6 SU (5-5 ATS) in their last 10 home games.

Writer’s Prediction

Tennessee (-13.5) wins, 32-16.

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Written by JE

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