Texas A&M vs. South Carolina
Betting Pick: Under 57.5 -110 odds (August 28th 2014)
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Texas AM @ South Carolina—–I like this game to stay UNDER the Total on this Thursday Night as the College Football season in finally underway. This game is tricky for the linesmakers to set the ‘total’ because of the differences in both teams style of play. In 2013, Texas AM’s lowest total was 63 and that was vs. Alabama. We saw a high total of 81 posted for them when they played SMU. The average total for the Aggies last season was 72.5 and they ended up averaging 76 total points scored. For South Carolina, their average Total last season was 52.5 . The highest total was at 63 when they played Clemson and the game went UNDER by 15 points, 31-17.
Looking at this game, the Total of 58 is about 2 touchdowns less for Texas AM from last season. I do think that these 14 points are warranted though as Johnny Manziel is worth every bit of 2 -3 touchdowns in my opinion. Not only is Manziel gone, but so is WR Mike Evans who was a #1 Draft Pick. Evans was Manziel’s favorite target as he caught 12 touchdowns and seemed to catch anything thrown in his vicinity. Now the Aggies more than likely will be starting a rFR in Kyle Hill. Regardless of who gets the start, I do not see the offense putting up more then 20-24 points in this game on the road in a rowdy environment. I will also note the Gamecocks have only allowed an average of 20 ppg over the last 4 seasons. I can see a lot of Texas AM drives stalling out and settling for field goals as touchdowns will be hard to come by.
For South Carolina, they lose QB Connor Shaw who was a dynamic dual threat that threw for 24 TD’s and ran for 6 more last season. The replacement is Dylan Thompson who is not as agile and is more of a pocket passer. South Carolina will rely on their running game behind one of the nation’s premier backs in Mike Davis who will be running behind an offensive line that returns 113 career starts. I look for Spurrier to call a conservative game for Thompson and this in turn will see more clock usage because of the majority of running plays.
A&M’s defense was terrible last year, but they return 9 on defense this season. They should have one of the better offensive lines in the nation as everybody returns after allowing 222 rushing yards a game in 2013, they can only improve as everybody has another year under their belt. Also, I like the secondary for Texas A&M to make big improvements as well and I see them holding South Carolina to 27-30 points in this game for an easy UNDER.
In closing, I expect both offenses to be conservative and not efficient in the red zone with new starting quarterbacks. I clearly feel the loss of Manziel will be huge to the Aggies as it will take time for this offense to find an identity. Look for the Texas A&M defense to play inspired tonight as well as they got torched last year and HC Sumlin is under pressure to make the proper changes this season.
There are some key trends as well that we will use to our advantage for this game. The UNDER is 5-2 in Texas A&M’ last 7 road games. The UNDER is 6-1-1 in South Carolina’s last 8 Thursday games and South Carolina ended the season on a 4-0 UNDER run in conference games.
Brandon Shively finished 2013 +$7,490 in all Football plays (55.6%) and is having a Monster 2014 season as he is +$19,460 in ALL Sports and is ready to drop HUGE Bombs on Vegas this season.