NCAAF Betting Prediction For Tennessee Vs. South Carolina (11/19/22)

No team has a higher profile as a deserving playoff team than the Tennessee Volunteers, yet they need help from elsewhere to get in. While they can’t control whether TCU or USC suffers a loss, what they can do is help build up their own case by steam rolling every in their path. Next up? The South Carolina Gamecocks.

Tennessee Vs. South Carolina Odds

Tennessee comes in as a massive favorite as expected and has gained steam since the open. Opening at -20.5, Tennessee quickly saw money flood in on them as they have moved up to -22. While it’s tough to back them as over a three-score favorite, I just can’t bring myself to take South Carolina as Tennessee will be determined to hang as many points on them as they can.

Speaking of points, odds makers figured there would be plenty of them as this number currently sits in the mid 60’s. While it opened at 67.5, this number has dipped down a bit to 66 as bettors question how much South Carolina will be able to contribute towards it.

Tennessee Vs. South Carolina Prediction & Pick

The Pick: TENN TT o44.5

While I think the number has moved too high for me to take Tennessee, and I’m not sure how much South Carolina can contribute towards the high total, I will be taking a different approach for this matchup. Instead, I will be targeting Tennessee’s team total over 44.5.

This mitigates South Carolina’s scoring output and will not have to worry about a potential backdoor. This bet solely aligns with how I feel Tennessee will approach this game with their playoff hopes on life support, score as much as possible to make sure they are first in line should USC and TCU both lose a game.

Points will come in plenty for the Volunteers who field one of the league’s best offenses in the nation behind the rocket arm of star quarterback Hendon Hooker. He has transformed this offense behind a stat line of 2,888 yards, 24 touchdowns, and two interceptions.

South Carolina fields a poor defense, one that will be hard pressed to stop points being put on the board. Especially when the Volunteers get past the 40 with the Gamecocks having a horrific Def Finishing Drives rank. While they do a good job at limiting explosiveness, around average in the nation, South Carolina has not fared well at stopping sustained drives down the field.

Tennessee Vs. South Carolina Key Matchups

Who’s going to stop the duo of Hooker and Hyatt? Can the Volunteers get Rattler off the field early and often?

Jalin Hyatt vs Gamecocks secondary

Hendon Hooker’s partner in crime, star receiver Jalin Hyatt has been an absolute menace to opposing secondaries as he has torched them for 1,116 yards and 15 touchdowns so far into the season.

He will play a big role once again as Tennessee looks to establish their downfield attack. The issue? South Carolina does a good job at limiting explosiveness. 

If Tennessee can get the run going early, this will bring in the Gamecocks second level and allow Hooker to go over the top and find his favorite target for quick points.

Rattler vs Volunteers defense

If you read my Georgia Tech vs North Carolina piece already, then you would know one of my worst sports opinions would be my thoughts on Drake Maye when he was announced the starter in week 0. While that may be one of my worst, the opinion that brings home the gold was mine on Spencer Rattler.

Flash back to last year, I wrote a piece of how Spencer Rattler would run away with the Heisman trophy while manning the Oklahoma offense. Oh boy was I wrong. Not only did that experiment burn up in flames, but it has also somehow looked even worse with his performance at South Carolina.

Putting up a pedestrian stat line of 1,982 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine interceptions, Rattler has done himself no favors with a change of scenery. He gets an intriguing matchup against the Volunteers with their 82nd Def Pass Success rank.

The Volunteers pass rush will be critical for this ticket to cash at the window as they will need as many possessions as possible to clear a high team total over. With limited room for error, getting Rattler off the field will be crucial in deciding this outcome.

Verdict

With too much uncertainty on South Carolina’s end, I will take the Tennessee team total no higher than 44.5 as they make their mark for the playoffs.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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