Over the years we’ve watched the SEC evolve into a high-scoring league led by talented quarterbacks. One player taking the reins from last year’s Heisman winner Joe Burrow is Kyle Trask. After throwing for six touchdowns in a season-opening win Trask is on pace to throw 60 scoring passes. Trask leads the No. 3 ranked Florida Gators into Saturday’s home opener against conference rival South Carolina Gamecocks. Florida has won two straight and four of the last five between the schools while going 15-2 all-time against the Cocks in the Swamp. The Gators are an 18-point favorite on the current college football betting line which would be the largest in the series in over a decade. Bookmaker is offering a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600)
South Carolina Gamecocks at Florida Gators
Date and Time: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
CFB Odds: Florida -18, O/U 57.5
South Carolina at Florida TV Coverage: ESPN
Year 3 of the Dan Mullen era looks like it might be the best one yet. The Gators rolled in their opener behind a relentless offensive attack spoiling the debut of Lane Kiffin with a 51-35 hammering of Ole Miss. They easily covered the 14-point spread while playing over the closing total of 60. Oddsmakers are high on Florida making them an 18-point favorite in this matchup. It’s the first time in four games the spread is over a touchdown. Florida’s performance was eye candy and square bettors are all over it. Keep in mind that SC went on the road last season against the No. 3 team and emerged with a victory upsetting Georgia 20-17 in overtime as a 20.5-point dog.
South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks do not have one of those high-flying offenses mentioned above. In fact they were just the opposite last season. Over their last three games they totaled 24 points and scored one touchdown. They went without a touchdown in their last two contests getting outscored 68-9. It’s obvious what needed to be done and Will Mushcamp made a move to rectify the problem bringing in new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. The former Colorado State coach brought his former quarterback Collin Hill with him and the offense looked a heck of a lot better in the opener tripling their touchdown output from the final three games of last season.
Hill threw for 290 yards with a touchdown and looked poised in his new gig. He had an immediate connection with receiver Shi Smith, who caught 10 balls for 140 yards and a touchdown. Getting to the Gators through the air will be a key for the Cocks. Florida looked vulnerable last week allowing 443 passing yards and three touchdowns to the Rebels.
In what is likely to be a shootout the Cocks can’t afford to be careless with the football. Hill tossed one interception that was returned by the Vols for a touchdown. A special teams gaffe also cost them a chance at the potential winning score late in the game. The loss of starting linebacker Sherrod Greene for perhaps the rest of the season is a blow to a defense that will need a few stops in order to have a chance.
The Gators sure looked like a championship contender, at least on offense, in their opening win. The unit was in mid-season form behind Trask, compiling 642 total yards and scoring at least 10 points in every quarter. Trask completed 30 of 43 for 416 yards and six touchdowns, four of them to Kyle Pitts, who had eight receptions for 170 yards.
At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds Pitts is problem for opposing defenses and Trask knows that. “He’s a matchup nightmare. He’s too big for cornerbacks and too fast for linebackers so it gives defenses lots of trouble and that’s what you like to see,” Trask said of his tight end. Showing some balance in the attack the Gators were able to run the football averaging 6.8 yards on 29 attempts with four players getting at least 37 rushing yards.
The display of offense masked problems on the other side of the football. Ole Miss amassed 613 total yards and 443 yards through the air. The Rebels also converted 9 of 14 third down chances, so all wasn’t rosy. “We have a lot of things to clean up, a lot of things we have to get better from Week 1 and Week 2,” Mullen said.
Bet South Carolina at Florida at BookMaker.eu
The total opened at 57 and spiked to 59 before settling at 57.5. We are going to see more movement before kickoff and now is the time to bet the OVER. Florida has too many weapons and the Cocks look like a much improved offensive team with Hill at the controls. Florida’s defense looked shaky which also has me leaning towards South Carolina plus a hefty amount of points.
CFB Score Prediction: Florida 38, South Carolina 31
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– Phil Simon, Gambling911.com