All the marbles are on the line in the SEC in Saturday’s premier NCAA football betting affair. The Auburn Tigers are just one win away from carrying the nation’s No. 1 ranking into the BCS Championship Game in January, but standing in their way are the South Carolina Gamecocks, who are looking to win the SEC and go to the BCS for the first time in school history.
The oddsmakers have lined this one fairly tight at Auburn -5 after these teams played a close one at Jordan Hare Stadium earlier in the season, and as always, we pose three questions for the big duel that will help decide which team will beat the college football odds.
Auburn vs. South Carolina Betting Key #1: Marcus Lattimore was held to just 33 yards the first time around. Will the frosh be able to run wild on this defense?
Probably. We have to remember that this was just one of the first games in Lattimore’s young career here at South Carolina. Over the last five games, Lattimore has run for at least 100 yards three times and at least 180 yards twice. He has 1,114 yards and 19 total TDs on the campaign, and he is really proving to just get better and better as the season moves forward. The Tigers haven’t had the best rush defense in the world this year, and Lattimore can cause a real problem for them.
– Auburn vs. South Carolina Point Spread: Auburn -5 points
– Auburn vs. South Carolina Over-Under: 61 points
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Auburn vs. South Carolina Betting Key #2: Is the bigger problem Lattimore, or Alshon Jeffrey, though?
The answer to this one is simple: Alshon Jeffrey. Last week in the first half, Auburn allowed the Alabama Crimson Tide to roll off 335 passing yards. Julio Jones went absolutely bonkers, and now, SC brings in arguably the best receiver in the SEC in Jeffrey. Jeffrey went nuts as well when these teams met, catching eight passes for 192 yards and two TDs, but he was helpless after Stephen Garcia left the game injured in the second half.
Auburn vs. South Carolina Betting Key #3: The Gamecocks weren’t able to stop the run the first time around. Do they have a chance now?
Cam Newton has had a history of driving teams up the wall this year, and South Carolina was not an exception to the rule. Newton threw for 158 yards and ran for 176 more, accounting for five total TDs in arguably his best game of the season. Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb combined for 30 carries for 155 yards as well. Needless to say, if Auburn gets to 300+ rushing yards again, it can punch its ticket to Glendale. If you take that game out though, South Carolina allowed just 71.3 yards per game on the ground. The Tigers need to watch out.
This is an absolutely atrocious matchup for the Tigers, and we tend to believe that they are going to get bitten in the butt by it. South Carolina is brimming full of confidence right now, and the close call at Auburn only gives it more incentive to come out and win its fourth straight game both SU and ATS. Look for the Gamecocks to throw a wrench into the BCS picture come late Saturday afternoon!
South Carolina 34 – Auburn 23