South Carolina – Clemson O 61.5
I’m not a big fan of overs, especially ones lined in the 60’s, but Clemson is going to score points in this game. They have an elite offense led by QB Taj Boyd (169.80 pass efficiency, tops in the ACC) and dynamic playmakers Sammy Watkins, Andre Ellington and DeAndre Hopkins. The only defense they have played this season anywhere near as good as South Carolina’s is FSU, where they scored 37 in Tallahassee. South Carolina has held 7 of 10 opponents below their offensive season averages (Clemson avg’s 45 ppg), but South Carolina also hasn’t faced very many explosive offenses in the SEC (allowing 21.14 ppg vs teams that avg only 26.50).
Defensively Clemson is just not very good and South Carolina should be able to run the ball on the Tigers. Clemson is allowing 26.50 ppg vs teams that avg 26.16. But if we take a closer look, the Tigers have also benefited from playing some really bad offensive teams (Auburn, BC, Va Tech, Wake Forest and Maryland). Against the better offenses on their schedule (Ball State, FSU and Georgia Tech, the only three teams they’ve played who avg more than 30 ppg) Clemson is allowing 35.67 ppg. The Gamecocks are avg 32.60 ppg, but that is against some very good SEC defenses including Vandy, Georgia, LSU and Florida.
So we have an elite Clemson offense going against a very good, but hardly elite South Carolina defense, and we have an efficient South Carolina offense going up against a bad Clemson defense. Both QBs are top three in their respective leagues in pass efficiency and neither offense has really been stopped this season (Clemson avg’s 45 ppg vs teams that allow 28.52 and South Carolina avg’s 32.60 ppg vs teams that allow 28 ppg). On paper, it is difficult to see either of these teams not scoring at least 30 points today.
South Carolina 35 Clemson 31
Make sure to check out The Saturday Edge website and follow them on Twitter @SaturdayEdge. It's a great site where college football handicapping enthusiasts can exchange useful betting strategies, tips, ideas and information. They have great football analysis and are also a great place to go if you want to read up on betting or get some advice. You can also sign up for their newsletter at their site. So far they have hit on their "best bet" predictions for Oregon State/Wisconsin, Nebraska/Southern Miss, Colorado St/Utah St, Colorado/UCLA, Michigan/Purdue, Notre Dame/Pitt and Ohio St/Wisconsin.