Arkansas at South Carolina Spread
This Saturday the No. 8 South Carolina Gamecocks will host the Arkansas Razorbacks in SEC action. The Razorbacks have won three straight in the series, but that streak looks to be in jeopardy based off what we have seen from these two teams so far in 2012. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 EST at Williams-Brice Stadium and will be televised nationally on CBS. Oddsmakers have listed South Carolina as a 14-point home favorite.
Why Arkansas Will Cover
The Razorbacks rallied late to beat Tulsa 19-15 this past Saturday and have quietly won three of their last four games to improve their overall record to 4-5. With Arkansas having to go on the road to face Mississippi St next week and a home game against LSU in the regular season finale, it doesn’t seem likely that they will be able to win two of three to become bowl eligible. However, this team is going to play with the belief that they can accomplish that goal, which is very important when looking to back a big underdog this late in the regular season.
Even though South Carolina is ranked in the Top 10, this team isn’t as strong as it was just a couple weeks ago. The loss of star running back Marcus Lattimore was a devastating blow for the Gamecocks. This team has also not looked that great over the last month. They lost back-to-back games at LSU and Florida before barely squeaking past Tennessee 38-35 at home.
The Razorbacks have not been as explosive offensively this year, but they figure to at least have a chance to move the ball through the air against the Gamecocks. South Carolina is strong against both the run and the pass, but we did see them give up 381 yards through in their last game against the Volunteers. Arkansas comes into this game with the 22nd ranked pass offense, averaging 305.4 ypg.
Arkansas is just 2-7 ATS and have not covered in each of their last two games. With South Carolina sitting at 6-3 ATS on the season and clearly the more impressive team, you have to believe oddsmakers have overvalued the Gamecocks in this game. As tough as it may be to bet the Razorbacks, they are a perfect 6-0 ATS after failing to cover the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games over the last 3 seasons. South Carolina is also just 8-20 ATS in home games after having won 4 or 5 out of their last 6 games since 1992.
Why South Carolina Will Cover
The first thing that jumps out for the Gamecocks is that they are coming off a bye week. Whenever you give a good coach like Steve Spurrier and extra week to prepare for an opponent, it tends to produce good results. South Carolina is 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a bye week.
The other big factor in this one is the Gamecocks should be extremely motivated to put an end to their current 3-game losing streak to the Razorbacks. Spurrier and company have not forgot about the last time these two teams played in Columbia. Arkansas embarrassed the Gamecocks 41-20. South Carolina is well aware of the Razorbacks suffering a down season, and they are going to come into this game with the intentions of blowing this thing wide open.
There’s plenty of reason to believe the Gamecocks can win this game by at least 14-points. Arkansas’ four wins this season have come against the likes of Jacksonville St, Auburn, Kentucky and Tulsa. The Razorbacks have played two of the elite SEC teams and were completely dominated in both of those games, as they got crushed at home by Alabama 52-0 and at Texas A&M 58-10.
South Carolina failed to cover the spread in their last game against Tennessee, but that’s a good thing for those looking to take the Gamecocks, as they are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a loss ATS. South Carolina is also 6-1 ATS over their last 7 home games and 5-1 ATS over their last 6 vs a team with a losing record.