College Football Kickoff: South Carolina vs Vanderbilt Free ATS Pick

South Carolina vs Vanderbilt Free ATS PickNCAAF: Thursday, September 1, 2016, Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee, 8 pm ET

Odds: Vanderbilt -4; Over/Under: 42

South Carolina vs Vanderbilt Free ATS Pick provided by Andy Myer of ATS Experts

College football kicks off Thursday night with a lineup of games on the betting sheet. One game that stands out to me comes from the SEC East Division with South Carolina traveling to take on Vanderbilt.

The South Carolina Gamecocks take the short trip to face the Vanderbilt Commodores Thursday night. South Carolina finished last season 3-9 in a season that is remembered for Steve Spurrier stepping down. Vanderbilt posted a 4-8 record last season, a one game improvement over the 2014 campaign.

There was no question that Steve Spurrier needed to step down after the 2015 season.  The Gamecocks closed the season with five straight losses and six defeats in their last seven games.  South Carolina had a middle of the pack offense and a defense that was once tops in the SEC, ranked 71st in the country in scoring defense by allowing 27.5 points a game.

One of the reasons USC struggled so much on offense was their revolving door at QB.   Perry Orth was under center the most last year and has the inside track to hold the starting job.  He completed 143 of 261 passes for 1,929 yards with 12 touchdowns, 9 INTs.

Vanderbilt was 3-9 in Derek Mason’s first year as coach and improved to 4-8 last year.  Mason took over for James Franklin, who left to coach Penn State.  In 2016, the Commodores expect to take the next step and look to play for bowl eligibility.  In 2015, their offense was atrocious ranking 124th in the nation in scoring offense with 15.2 points a game last year.  They did have a defense that ranked 22nd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 21 points per game.

Kyle Shurmur started five games as a freshman under center last year and is the starter to begin this season. He completed 44 of 103 passes for 503 yards with five touchdowns and 3 INTs.  Vanderbilt has one of the best running backs in the SEC, Ralph Webb. He rushed the ball 277 times for 1,152 yards and 5 TDs.

I see this as the perfect opportunity for Vanderbilt to start the season off on a winning note.  Playing at home will help this young team break into the 2016 season.  Expect a heavy dose of Ralph Webb to ease the QB play and open things up down field.
Webb’s ability to keep the chains moving and make things happen gives Vanderbilt the edge.  Vanderbilt snaps their seven game slide against the Gamecocks and avenges last season’s defeat.  Look for Vandy to cover the spread here in a low scoring game.

South Carolina vs Vanderbilt FREE Betting Tip: Vanderbilt -4

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