The Clemson Tigers can take one more step toward defending their national title this week when they visit the South Carolina Gamecocks. Game time is set for 7:30 EST on Saturday, November 25 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. Fans can watch the game on ESPN.

Oddsmakers view the Tigers as 14-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 46.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 13 betting odds and links to game previews.

Clemson vs South Carolina Vegas Game Odds & Betting Predictions

The no. 3 Tigers are just two wins away from returning to the College Football Playoff. Clemson has already solidified a spot in next week’s ACC title game against Miami. But the 10-1 Tigers can’t afford a second loss and hope to stay in the top-4, so they need to take care of business against South Carolina.

The Gamecocks, meanwhile, can play their regular-season finale free of pressure. At 8-3, South Carolina has had a nice season and even made their way into the College Football Playoff rankings this week at no. 24, a great accomplishment for Will Muschamp’s team.

The Palmetto Bowl, as this yearly matchup is called, doesn’t get quite as much publicity as some other late-season rivalry games. But it’s produced plenty of memorable games over the years. The Tigers have beat their in-state rivals three straight years, so South Carolina’s seniors will be motivated to finally get a win over Clemson and ruin their season in the process.

Vegas Free NCAAF Betting Pick: South Carolina +14

Few people view the Gamecocks as a threat to beat the Tigers and upset the playoff picture. But I think that’s a real possibility. South Carolina is strong defensively and the home team in this game. That’s enough to make me think they’ll challenge Clemson. I’ll lean toward the Gamecocks and the points.

To be fair, South Carolina has not played a difficult schedule this season. But they did find a way to beat NC State early in the year. They also beat the spread against Georgia a couple of weeks ago, so they can stay competitive with quality teams. All three of their losses have been by 14 points or less, indicating that they are a tough team to blow out.

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

At the same time, the Tigers have rarely been able to pull away from quality teams this season. Clemson has plenty of talent, but they are perhaps missing the elite playmakers on offense that they’ve had the past couple of seasons. That may be the reason why only one of their wins this season against a power 5 opponent has come by more than 17 points. 

Offensively, I doubt if South Carolina could keep up with Clemson if this game becomes a shootout. However, the Gamecocks have the kind of defense that can prevent that from happening. South Carolina has held every team they’ve played this year to 28 points or fewer. That’s remarkable consistency on that side of the ball. If that trend were to continue, the Clemson defense would have to play at the top of their game for the Tigers to win by more than two touchdowns.

On paper, South Carolina doesn’t look like a great candidate to beat Clemson. But with the way the Gamecocks play defense, they have a chance to keep this game close and give themselves a chance in the 4th quarter. If Clemson is looking past South Carolina, the Tigers could be on upset alert. At the very least, I expect the Gamecocks to keep the final score within two touchdowns and beat the spread.