The South Carolina Gamecocks (6-5) host the Akron Zips (4-7) on Saturday in college football action. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on December 1st at Williams-Brice Stadium and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
Taking a look at the Week 14 college football odds, South Carolina opened as a 29-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by just half a point after early betting, as the Gamecocks are currently listed at -28.5. The total for the game is sitting at 56 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: South Carolina vs Akron
Akron lost their fourth straight game last weekend, falling 49-28 to Ohio on the road. The Zips didn’t really have much of a chance after the first quarter, as they let the Bobcats score 21 unanswered points right out of the gate. QB Kato Nelson has had an up and down season, passing for 2,151 yards and 15 touchdowns while getting picked off eight times. Nelson has had a ton of help from the electric receiving duo of Andre Williams and Kwadarrius Smith, who have combined for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns. RB Van Edwards Jr. leads the way on the ground, rushing for 558 yards and three touchdowns. As a whole, Akron is averaging just 20.4 points per game on 298.5 yards of total offense.
The Zips have been mediocre at best on the defensive side of the ball, allowing opponents to average 27.1 points per game (65th overall). They have really struggled against the run through their first eleven games, giving up 198.1 yards per game on the ground (99th overall).
South Carolina put up a valiant fight on the road against #2 overall Clemson last weekend, trailing just 28-21 at halftime before eventually losing 56-35. Starting QB Jake Bentley has played very well this year, throwing for 2,754 yards and 24 touchdowns. The Gamecocks offense has also benefited greatly from the outstanding play of WR Deebo Samuel, who has racked up 58 receptions for 849 yards and nine touchdowns. RB Rico Dowdle is currently the leading rusher on the team with 552 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, South Carolina is currently averaging a solid 33.0 points per game on 445.9 yards of total offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Gamecocks are currently giving up 29.4 points per game (80th overall). They have been well below average against both the run and the pass all season long, ranking 105th and 74th overall respectively.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: OVER 56
While I do think that South Carolina should win this game outright with relative ease, I’m a bit leery of laying 4+ touchdowns against an Akron team that has played surprisingly well against quality opponents this year. Not only did they stay within two touchdowns of Iowa State several weeks again, they also knocked off a Top 25 ranked Northwestern team on the road in the first half of the season. I’m certainly not saying that will be the case again this weekend, especially after getting dominated by Ohio in Week 13. However, the total of 56 in this particular spot seems a bit low in my opinion. While the Zips aren’t exactly an offensive powerhouse, the Gamecocks have been one of the worst defensive teams in the nation all year long. South Carolina should also be able to easily score 35+ points in this matchup, as Akron just allowed the Bobcats to rack up almost 50 points last weekend.
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The total has gone OVER in four out of the last six games that South Carolina has played at home. It has also gone OVER in four of the last five games that the Gamecocks have played overall. While the Zips have struggled offensively for much of the season, they have still scored 25+ points in about half of their eleven games played. They also had a very impressive 39-point effort against a tough Northwestern defense in September.
As tempted as I am to take all the free points in this matchup, I think the OVER on 56 is a much safer play. South Carolina has allowed 35+ points in three out of their last four games but has also scored 48, 31, 49, and 35 points themselves over that same time span. I’m going to avoid siding with either of these schools against the spread, as I think more than 60 points will be scored on Saturday afternoon – give me the OVER.