Clemson may be the team playing for conference championships and national titles, but South Carolina owns the recent rivalry with the Tigers, winning five of the last seven meetings straight up and going 6-1 against the spread. Clemson shoots to reverse those trends and stay alive in the battle for a spot in the College Football Playoff when it takes on the Gamecocks in the 114th edition of the Palmetto Bowl on Saturday night at Death Valley.
Point spread: The Tigers opened as 24.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 43.7-17.7 Tigers (College football picks on every game)
Why the South Carolina Gamecocks can cover the spread
South Carolina started 2-4 this season, its first under new head coach Will Muschamp, but is 4-1 over its last five games following last week’s 44-31 victory over Western Carolina.
The Gamecocks flew out to a 14-0 lead five minutes into the game, led 35-17 at the half and eased home from there. On the day, South Carolina outgained the Catamounts by 221 yards, outrushed them by 186 yards and won time of possession by a 36-24 margin.
Two weeks ago, the Gamecocks lost to now-SEC East champion Florida 20-7, but before that, they had won three games in a row. At 6-5 overall, South Carolina is already bowl-eligible one season after going 3-9.
Why the Clemson Tigers can cover the spread
The Tigers bounced back from that last-second defeat against Pittsburgh two weeks ago by winning at Wake Forest last week 35-13, clinching a second straight ACC Atlantic Division title.
Clemson, a 24-point favorite, took a 7-0 lead on the Demon Deacons three minutes into the game, led 21-0 after one quarter and had the spread covered at 28-0 early in the second. But the Tigers put things on cruise control from there and missed the cash by three points in the end.
Clemson outgained Wake Forest 456-197 and outrushed the Deacons 254-71.
After going 7-1 in conference play, the Tigers are headed for the ACC Championship Game. And with two more victories, they’ll probably make a return trip to the CFP.
Clemson is likely to win this game, but South Carolina is improving as this season progresses, working through the learning curve under the new coaching regime. And the spread on this game is probably inflated toward the home team by a good field goal or so. The smart play here on the college football lines is the Gamecocks, plus the points.
South Carolina is 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against Clemson.
The total has gone under in five of South Carolina’s last six games against Clemson.
Clemson is 1-5 ATS in its last six games at home against teams with winning records.
All college football betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.