Clemson Tigers @ South Carolina Gamecocks (+3) NCAA Pick: Clemson has owned the Gamecocks over the last 7 years, winning 6 of their last 7 meetings, and covering 6 of the last 8 times these two have played. Whether it’s been on the road or at home, the Tigers have flexed their in-state muscle.
But I think this game will be different. It’s not what the Gamecocks have done, but who they’ve played – they are ready for a game against the Tigers. Over the last five weeks of games the Gamecocks have played Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Alabama. Now Vandy might not have much to offer, and Tennessee hasn’t won but a handful of games, but those other three are legit, and two of those are probably the best two teams in the Nation. Clemson has one hell of a defensive line, and that has given opposing offenses trouble all year long, but I know South Carolina has seen that kind of defensive front a couple times this year, and that makes me think they’ll be ready for the Tigers.
Getting three points at home is another plus for me here. Getting two weeks to prepare for Clemson is just another bonus. One might say that Clemson finally getting their act together and winning 6 straight coming in is a sign of trouble for South Carolina – but I’d have it no other way. Winning streaks end – and I’m willing to take a South Carolina team that went toe-to-toe with Florida two weeks ago, even though they’ve lost 4 of their 5. They are 5-1 at home, and obviously play their best football there.