The Gamecocks have just become bowl-eligible. They beat Vanderbilt to earn their sixth win of the season. Hopefully, for their sake, they won’t become complacent, because before they dominated Vanderbilt, Florida blew out Texas A&M to get back on a winning track.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for this game.
Feel free to parlay both bets at your preferred online sports betting site to maximize your profit.
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida Gators
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 04:00 PM EST at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Assessing Florida's Defense in Recent Weeks
I'm afraid that people will think that the "over" is automatically a good bet for this game because it's Florida's defense and because the Gamecocks just scored 38 points last week.
No doubt, the Gators have given up the 15th-most points per game in their last three games, and that's obviously bad, but we only need to consider a bit more closely the quality of Florida's recent opponents.
They faced LSU with its star mobile quarterback who completes nearly 70% of his passes, has 14 touchdowns to one interception, and is a weekly threat to rush for over 100 yards.
Moreover, they faced supremely physical Georgia with its sixth-ranked scoring offense. Last week, they allowed the SEC's third-leading rusher to excel.
The upshot is that Florida's defense is highly vulnerable to unique levels of talent, such as those possessed by the players responsible for the large number of points that the Gators have conceded in recent weeks.
Signs of Promise
Given their recent games, it is easy to forget about the Gator defense that gave up 17 points to Missouri and allowed one touchdown drive longer than six yards to Kentucky.
I'm not saying that the Gator defense is particularly good, only that the total for Florida's game against South Carolina is 59, and the Gator defense will need to be as bad as it has been in recent weeks in order for the "over" to hit.
South Carolina's Offensive Problems: Running Back
South Carolina does not have nearly the same level of talent as Texas A&M's star running back and as the LSU and Georgia offenses.
While the Gamecocks have a very good running back of their own, he suffered a major bone bruise that caused him to miss his team's game last week against Vanderbilt.
Be sure to monitor MarShawn Lloyd's playing status, because his absence would provide a further obstacle to South Carolina's scoring endeavor. After Lloyd, there is for South Carolina a significant drop-off, in terms of quality, at the running back position.
The next leading rusher after him is Juju McDowell, who averages all of 3.6 YPC.
South Carolina's offense also suffers for having Spencer Rattler at quarterback. Despite getting to play against Vanderbilt, he still has more interceptions than touchdowns this season.
As video footage shows, his passing mechanics are terrible. He has a tendency, for example, to throw off his backfoot. When he spots a tight window, he'll rely too much on his arm strength to try to force the ball in there, instead of making use of his entire body.
As he's done before this year, he's shown an inclination to get happy feet and to bail out of the pocket too soon. Rattler regularly struggles to reach 200 passing yards in a given game because of his shortcomings.
Again, the Gator defense isn't world-class, but they've limited quarterbacks like Missouri's Brady Cook and Texas A&M's Haynes King. In terms of quality, Rattler certainly belongs in the latter group rather than in the group with LSU's Jayden Daniels.
Gator Offense vs. Gamecock Defense
Florida will have no such problems scoring on Saturday. In their past two games, lesser Gamecock opponents have employed the zone read to burn their defense, and Florida will do the same with a much more talented quarterback in Anthony Richardson.
The Gators love to run with Richardson and two other guys who average 5.8 or more YPC.
They'll thrive against a Gamecock defense that ranks 99th in rush defense while being limited especially by frequently out-of-place and otherwise ineffective linebackers.
The Final Verdict
Florida is the one team that will have an easy time scoring on Saturday, but the total is so high that there is easily room for the Gators to cover the spread while the "under" hits.
For the above reasons, I recommend playing the Gators ATS and the "under" for this game's betting pick.
Be sure to use our trusty parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.
- Florida -8 (-108)
- Under 59 (-108)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.