Week 4 of the 2020 College Football season is upon us. Fans and bettors alike get to welcome back the NCAA’s premier football conference as the SEC begins its season on Saturday. All 14 Southeastern Conference teams will be in action against one another this weekend to open their seasons. With the conference boasting a whopping eight teams ranked in the AP Top 25 coming into the week, it makes sense for our Week 4 College Football picks spotlight game to reside in the SEC.
16th-ranked Tennessee will begin their season on the road with a game against South Carolina in Columbia. The SEC East rivals have clashed 38 times previously, including each of the last 26 seasons. While Tennessee owns a 26-10-2 advantage in the series all-time, South Carolina has triumphed in six of the last ten meetings. While neither school has made too much noise at the national level in recent years, both Jeremy Pruitt and Will Muschamp clearly have their programs on the rise. With the point spread hovering around a field goal throughout the week and a low total line set for the game, Saturday’s primetime matchup figures to provide a tightly contested affair.
Tennessee vs. South Carolina College Football Picks Spotlight Game
Tennessee Volunteers (0-0, 0-0 Away) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (0-0, 0-0 Home)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020
Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC
Coverage: SEC Network
Attendance: About 20,000 people will be allowed to attend
Tennessee vs. South Carolina College Football Odds
Odds courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook
Opening Lines (Las Vegas Consensus): TEN -3; O/U 50
Moneyline: TEN (-170) | SC (+145)
Spread: TEN: -4 (-105) | SC: +4 (-115)
Total: 43.5 – Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Tennessee vs. South Carolina College Football Picks
Saturday’s matchup between the Volunteers and Gamecocks carries a bit more weight than a traditional season-opener. A normal College Football season typically begins with non-conference games. For the big boys in the SEC, this typically puts them in games that will be easily won and serve as more of a tune-up for the grueling conference schedule that is to come than a high-stakes showdown.
2020 is not a normal College Football season. Tennessee South Carolina will be fighting for an early leg-up in the SEC East Division race. Tennessee will be looking to avoid being upset as a ranked team playing on the road. And South Carolina will be looking to make an early statement that progress is being made after mustering only 4 wins in 2019. There’s a lot to unpack on both sides. Close betting odds are the cherry on top of this must-see showdown.
Tennessee Volunteers Overview
The Volunteers surprised many with an 8-win 2019 campaign that was capped off with a triumph over Indiana in the Gator Bowl. Jeremy Pruitt’s young team is a year older now, and the preseason AP ranking carries with it a whole new level of expectations amongst the fans in Knoxville. Senior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano showed plenty of flashes last season, passing for over 2100 yards and 16 touchdowns. The key for him will be reducing his interception total from the 8 he threw a year ago. There are also questions surrounding who will fill the void at wide receiver left by Marquez Callaway. Senior running back Ty chandler could find himself playing a bigger role in the passing game.
The Volunteers boast plenty of senior beef along the defensive line in Matthew Butler, Aubrey Solomon, and LaTrell Bumphus. The trio combined for 6.5 sacks last season and will look to improve on that number in 2020. The stars of the unit however are linebacker Henry To’o To’o and corner Bryce Thompson. The former led the team with 72 total tackles (33 solo, 39 assisted) as a freshman last season, while the latter accounted for 32 total tackles and 3 interceptions. Tennessee should be able to hold their own defensively against a Gamecocks offense that will be operating with a new quarterback and a suspect offensive line.
South Carolina Gamecocks Overview
The rebuild in South Carolina is making progress, but the Gamecocks enter the 2020 campaign projected to be among the poorer teams in the loaded SEC. As you might expect, the defense of a Will Muschamp-coached team figures to be the strong point. Senior lineman Aaron Sterling recorded 6 sacks in 2019. Expect him to be the leader of a unit that is quite possibly being overlooked. With plenty of experience returning at all three levels, the Gamecocks will start almost entirely upperclassmen on defense. If the front can generate pressure, the secondary should hold up fine. The huge drop in the game’s over/under line tells you that the sharp College Football picks aren’t expecting a Tennessee offensive clinic.
Offense is a bigger question mark for the Gamecocks, but there is still potential. Graduate transfer QB Collin Hill threw for over 800 yards and 8 touchdowns in just three games last season for Colorado State. There will be some adjustment however as he gets his feet wet in Columbia. Playing behind an offensive line that will be starting a pair of sophomores on the right side also spells cause for concern. What will be fun to watch when South Carolina has the ball is senior receiver Shi Smith. The 5’10”, 185-pound speedster may not have a ton of size, but he has the skills to play his way into the 2021 NFL Draft picture.
Tennessee vs. South Carolina Betting Trends
- Tennessee went 7-6 ATS and 4-9 to the Over last season.
- Tennessee is 7-4 ATS in the last eleven head-to-head meetings against South Carolina.
- South Carolina went 5-7 ATS and 4-8 to the Over last season.
- South Carolina is 6-4 straight up against Tennessee in the last ten head-to-head meetings.
- South Carolina is 3-1 straight up against Tennessee in the last four head-to-head meetings.
- The Under has hit in four of the last five meetings between Tennessee and South Carolina.
Tennessee vs. South Carolina Statistics
- Tennessee averaged 365.7 yards per game (YPG) and 22.4 points per game (PPG) in 2019.
- Tennessee surrendered 334.5 YPG and 30.2 PPG in 2019.
- South Carolina averaged 371.9 YPG and 17.9 PPG in 2019.
- South Carolina surrendered 393.3 YPG and 28.8 PPG in 2019.