South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Virginia Cavaliers Preview, Prediction, Free Pick, 12-29-2018




South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Virginia Cavaliers Preview, Prediction, Free Pick, 12-29-2018

South Carolina Gamecocks (7-5) vs Virginia Cavaliers (7-5)

Date : 12/29/2018
Time : 12:00 PM
Location : Bank of America Stadium

Pick, Prediction, & Preview:

South Carolina Gamecocks vs Virginia Cavaliers

The South Carolina Gamecocks and Virginia Cavaliers are set to meet in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, the opening kickoff is slated for 12:00 PM. South Carolina had an average year in the SEC East division as they went 4-4 and finished in 4th place while Virginia put together yet another successful season as they will be returning to a bowl game.

South Carolina Gamecocks's Latest Performance :

The South Carolina Gamecocks will be attending their 3rd straight bowl game in the Will Muschamp era but they have been unable to crack through in the SEC as they have been mediocre in the SEC East division over the last few years. The Gamecocks rescheduled a game with Akron to finish up the season and they were able to take full advantage of that in a 28-3 home victory. QB Jake Bentley has been an important piece for the Gamecocks over the last few years but he has shown his turnover problems and we saw that on full display against Akron. The junior was only able to throw for 199 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 interceptions against the 65th ranked scoring defense in college football. Bentley enters the final game of the season with 2953 yards, 27 TDs, and 12 interceptions but his veteran leadership has been the difference between missing a bowl game and appearing in their 3rd consecutive game. The RBs have been a run-by-committee this season and we saw a few different backs have big games against Akron as Mon Denson was able to rush for 110 yards on 17 carries while Rico Dowdle ran for 86 yards on 13 carries. Bentley was able to connect with his 2 favorite targets for most of the game as Deebo Samuel has 2 TDs and Bryan Edwards had 109 yards and a TD. Samuel has elected to sit out the bowl game in favor of his draft stock which is a major blow to this offense as he has compiled 882 yards and 11 TDs on the season. The defense was able to make an impact in this game as they were in the backfield for most of the game. The combination of Kingsley Enagbare, Brad Johnson, Kobe Smith, and Javon Kinlaw racked up 5 sacks.

Virginia Cavaliers's Latest Performance :

The Virginia Cavaliers look like they have finally turned around their program under Bronco Mendenhall as they will be returning to consecutive bowl games for the 1st time since 2004-2005. The Cavaliers have been the little brother in the state of Virginia with VTech and although the Cavaliers are having a better year they still managed to lose 34-31 on the road to close out the season. QB Bryce Perkins has been a huge reason behind the Cavaliers success this season and he put a superman effort together against Virginia Tech as he threw for 259 yards and 3 TDs while also being the top rusher with 112 yards on 24 carries. Perkins has elevated the offense to what they were last season as the former Arizona State QB has thrown for 2472 yards, 22 TDs, and 9 interceptions while also being one of the top rushers with 842 yards and 9 TDs. Virginia Tech did a good job in bottling up the Cavaliers top RB as Jordan Ellis was only able to rush for 52 yards, one of his worst performances of 2018. The senior RB enters the final game of his college career with 920 yards and 9 TDs and if he is able to get 80 yards in the bowl game he will reach the 1000-yard mark for the 1st time in his career. Perkins was able to connect with one of his top playmakers in Joe Reed for 119 yards and 2 TDs which put the junior WR at a team-best 7 TDs on the season. The defense has been a strong suit for the Cavaliers but they allowed the Hokies to score 14 points in the 4th quarter which forced OT. Senior safety Juan Thornhill had a solid outing with 14 tackles while Tim Harris and Charles Snowden were able to record interceptions.

How South Carolina Gamecocks & Virginia Cavaliers Matchup.

Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:

South Carolina is 7-5 ATS

Virginia is 8-4 ATS

In-Depth Analysis of each team:

South Carolina ranks 39th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 32.6 PPG while Virginia ranks 67th as they score an average of 28.5 PPG.

Virginia ranks 29th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 21.8 PPG while South Carolina ranks 65th as they hold opponents to an average of 27.2 PPG.

Against The Spread Selection: South Carolina Gamecocks -5.5

My reason for the pick :

The SEC vs. ACC debate will live on in this matchup as we have two different teams matching up in this matchup as the Cavaliers are based on their defense and the Gamecocks are based on their offense. I am backing the SEC tested South Carolina Gamecocks in this matchup as I feel like they are suited to beat the Cavaliers in this bowl game by a sound margin. Jake Bentley was able to throw for 27 TDs in one of the toughest conferences in the nation and given the fact that Virginia defense is really solid in defending the ground and average defending through the air Bentley should have a big outing. The Virginia offense has looked good but South Carolina has the athletes to keep Bryce Perkins contained as they will limit his ground gain and force the dual-threat to try and do his damage through the air. South Carolina is better suited to win this game and I think they will.

Betting trends for South Carolina Gamecocks:

  • South Carolina is 4-1 ATS when playing away from home this season.

Betting trends for Virginia Cavaliers:

  • Virginia is 4-1 ATS as an underdog this season.

Anthony

I am a sports enthusiast and watch every sport from the NFL to the NHL with everything in between. I have followed sports since I was a young kid and have studied deep into statistics for teams, and players. I am always looking for transactions within sports and find in an interest in every game. Playing every sport growing up has led me to understand every game and look for certain trends and stats.