Tennessee will be looking to pick up where it left off last season when it travels to South Carolina as a 3.5-point road favorite on Saturday night.
The Vols closed the year by covering the spread in six of its last eight games, including a six-game winning streak straight up. Their defense was a major factor, with the ‘under’ hitting in the last five games of the season.
South Carolina finished 2019 on a different trajectory, going 1-5 ATS in its last six games. The Gamecocks were also cashing ‘under’ tickets, with four of its last five resulting in lower-scoring games than projected.
Tennessee picked up a 41-21 win over the Gamecocks at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 26 last season, easily covering as a 4-point home underdog. The total sailed ‘over’ the listed number (46), snapping a four-game ‘under’ streak in the head-to-head series.
The Vols opened as a 3-point favorite at BetOnline in this season’s matchup when the SEC revealed the updated schedule in mid-August. However, the line was bumped down to 2.5 when the game week line was posted on Sunday afternoon.
Bettors have been taking Tennessee throughout the week and the game has now passed through a key number (3) to 3.5. The total opened at 48 but has seen a significant move down to 43.
This is set to be the lowest total in a Tennessee vs. South Carolina game since 2009, when it closed at 42.5. That game went ‘over’ in a 31-13 win for the Vols.
Tennessee has only had one total lower than 43 points since 2017—a 42-point mark in what turned out to be a 17-13 win against Kentucky last season.
The Vols have not been a road ‘chalk’ against an SEC team since 2016, when they were 7-point favorites in a 45-34 loss to Vanderbilt. They have been a road favorite against South Carolina five times since 1995, winning and covering the spread in four of those games.
This will be the 27th time Tennessee has been a single-digit road favorite since odds were first recorded in 1995. The Vols have won 20 of the previous 26 matchups, covering at a 19-7 ATS clip.
South Carolina has gone 12-6 in its last 18 home games and has won five of its last six against the Vols at Williams-Brice Stadium. The capacity will be limited to 20,000 fans this season due to COVID-19—betting markets are giving teams 1.5-points of home field advantage this season due to limited attendance.
Home teams in college football went 4-16 ATS last week. Saturday’s game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.