The South Carolina Gamecocks are ready to get back on the field. After cancelling last week’s game with Marshall due to Hurricane Florence, the team is looking to respond by getting a win for their fans. However, that won’t come easy. They will be travelling to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in Week 4 of the season, and Vandy is coming off of a tough loss. Vandy came close to knocking off a top ten Notre Dame team last week, so South Carolina better be prepared.
This matchup in Week 4 will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 4 p.m. ET at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
South Carolina -2.5
There has been equal action on the side in this game. South Carolina opened as a 2.5-point favorite per the NCAAF betting line, but then Vandy action moved the line down to a flat 2. On Wednesday morning, action started to come in again on the side of the Gamecocks, moving the line back to where it originally started.
Meanwhile, the total has risen since the CFB betting odds on this game were released. The original number was 52, but it has since moved upward to where it sits at 54.5 as of Wednesday.
Matchup to Watch
These teams are very similar. Both Vanderbilt and South Carolina have stingy defenses that don’t give up easy yards. South Carolina’s defense is looking to shut down an opponent after getting torched by Georgia in its last game. The Gamecocks had no problem shutting down Coastal Carolina in their opener, but they couldn’t stop the Bulldogs offense through the air or on the ground.
That’s not like a Will Muschamp defense, but it speaks more to the level of Georgia. Georgia is a class above every other program in terms of talent in the conference, so it wasn’t unusual to see South Carolina have issues. However, the Gamecocks know they need to bounce back in a big way this week.
As for Vanderbilt, this defense continues to impress. Derek Mason has done an excellent job retooling a defense that lost most of its starters from 2017, and the Commodores are again looking like one of the top units in the country. Vanderbilt ranks 28th in the nation in total defense and 22nd in the country in terms of defense according to S&P+.
The Commodores nearly picked off Notre Dame last week thanks to the defense. After a rough start, they settled down and only gave up six points in the second half.
Players to Watch
Interestingly enough, these teams have similar quarterbacks too. Jake Bentley and Kyle Shurmur are both largely unknown at the national level, but both quarterbacks have been pretty good over the last two years.
Bentley is out to prove he could potentially be an NFL draft pick this season. He shredded Coastal Carolina in the opener, but he had some problems beating Georgia’s secondary two weeks ago. Bentley was decent against this defense last year in a South Carolina win, and he will want to build on that performance.
Shurmur continues to impress. Notre Dame shut down the run against Vanderbilt last week, so he was forced to move the ball through the air. He successfully did that in the second half, ending the day with more than 300 yards against this defense.
Free ATS Pick
I’m going to go against the steam and play the under here. Muschamp said South Carolina would run more hurry-up this year, but we have yet to see it. Both teams are going to be methodical when they have the ball, and I think these defenses will be tougher to beat than the oddsmakers think. I’m not as confident on the side, but I’d take South Carolina with the extra week of rest.
College Football Odds: South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 20
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