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Betting Preview: No. 16 Tennessee vs. South Carolina

(Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics)

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.

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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.

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