Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Ole Miss at South Carolina Preview
by Matt Fargo - 09/23/2009
There has been a decent amount of line movement early on. The game came out anywhere from -3.5 to -4.5 and was moved down to -3 rather quickly. Tuesday night and early Wednesday saw the number go back to -3 and then by the afternoon, there were -3.5’s across the board with even some -4’s available.
Bookmaker opened the total at 51 and it was immediately bet up to 52 and then eventually 53 which is where all other shops opened it at.
There are no significant injuries on either side but there are two big names on the injury list. Mississippi All-SEC defensive end Greg Hardy is listed as probable with an ankle injury as is South Carolina All-American linebacker Eric Norwood who is nursing a shoulder injury.
It should be a great night in Columbia as the forecast calls for a slight chance of a thunderstorm with temperatures in the mid to high 70’s.
The betting market is all over Mississippi in this game. As of Wednesday afternoon, 80 percent of close to 8,000 bets have gone in on the Rebels. After all, what else would the public do with a short, ranked road chalk? But maybe the public is right as the Rebels closed very strong last season and with just about everyone back, they became a preseason favorite in the SEC West. Rarely have they been on nationally televised games so they will be out prove something come Thursday. Especially quarterback Jevan Snead who said these are the games that made him choose Ole’ Miss.
Line of Scrimmage
The goal for South Carolina will be simple and that is to keep the potent Mississippi offense off the field. In order to do that it will have to control the clock on offense and to do so with the running game. Last season, South Carolina was last in the SEC in rushing averaging just 94.1 ypg while Mississippi was fourth in the nation and first in the SEC last year in rushing defense, allowing just 85.5 yards per game. The Gamecocks rushed for 287 yards last week against Florida Atlantic which was the most in four-plus years under Spurrier.
This is the eighth Thursday night game for South Carolina in the Steve Spurrier era and the Gamecocks are 5-2 on Thursday nights in the time frame. The Rebels are 1-11-2 ATS in their last 14 games as a favorite of three points or fewer but the Gamecocks are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games as a home underdog. The ‘Over’ is 16-3 in South Carolina’s last 19 home games against a team with a winning road record while the ‘Under’ is 10-4 in Ole’ Miss’ last 14 road games against a team with a winning home record.