LINE: South Carolina -9.5, o/u: 63.5
ATS PICK: South Carolina
This is all about the offseason belief system that South Carolina is a really, really, really good team with a really, really, really nasty schedule.
This is also about the offseason belief that North Carolina will be better and stronger, but not there yet.
The last time we saw South Carolina play an ACC team in Charlotte, it was still sitting on the bus in a puzzling 28-0 waxing by Virginia in your 2018 Belk Bowl. The year before, though, it opened up the season against a NC State team that’s far better than this North Carolina squad and pulled off a terrific 35-28 win.
It’s four-year starting USC QB Jake Bentley vs. true freshman starting UNC QB Sam Howell. It’s a veteran team of good Gamecock players vs. a veteran team of okay-to-questionable Tar Heel talents under new head coach Mack Brown.
The Gamecocks have won 18 of their last 19 openers, an North Carolina has lost its last four lid-lifters, and …
Again, this is about sticking with a belief system forged over the last eight months that the Gamecocks might just have a top 15-overall team.
Apparently, though, America isn’t buying in quite yet.
The line started out as USC -7.5, rocketed up fast to around 12, has hovered around 11, and now has settled in at around 9.5 depending on where you’re going with it. And why the dough on the Tar Heels? The last six losses of last season were decided by ten points or fewer, and it’s a North Carolina game played in Charlotte.
Love it at 9.5, love it at 11, love is at around 14, which is where it should be.