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UNC vs. South Carolina Odds

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COLUMBIA, SC (The Spread) – The 2013 College Football Season gets started with a doozy as No. 6 South Carolina hosts North Carolina tonight at 6PM ET on ESPN.

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North Carolina is coming off an 8-4 season in 2012 in which it went 6-6 against the spread. South Carolina went 11-2 last season and was 8-5 against the spread. These two haven’t met since 2007 when South Carolina beat UNC, 21-15.

Trends show that North Carolina is 1-5 against the spread in its last 6 road games while South Carolina is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games against ACC opponents and 7-2 ATS in its last 9 home games.

According to oddsmakers from Bovada.lv, South Carolina is the favorite at home, as the Gamecocks have been given odds of -12 points against UNC. The over/under total for the game has been set at 57.5 points (View Matchup). The opening odds for this game had South Carolina favored by 11 points. The odds hit a low of 10.5 points before climbing to its peak of South Carolina -12. The over/under total opened at a low of 56.5 points and has slowly been climbing up to 57.5.

South Carolina comes into the season with one of the top defenses on paper. Last year’s team allowed just 18.2 points and 316 yards per game and this group returns five starters, led by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who had 54 tackles and 13 sacks last season. The SC defense also has three starters back in its secondary, which should make the Gamecocks tough to beat through the air. South Carolina has been good, but not great on offense. Last year’s team averaged 31.5 points and 377 yards per game on offense. The offense has plenty of experience, with seven starters back. Leading the team will be quarterback Connor Shaw, who can run and throw. The team also has four of its top six receivers back from last year as well. Helping out Shaw is a veteran offensive line, which should also allow new running back Mike Davis to get off to a fast start.

UNC went 8-4 in its first year under coach Larry Fedora, and this year’s team has 14 starters back. The offense averaged an impressive 40.6 points and 486 yards per game last season, but does lose explosive back Giovanni Bernard. The team does return quarterback Bryn Renner, who threw for 3,356 yards and 28 touchdowns a year ago. Renner has his top two receiving targets back, but will be behind a relatively inexperienced offensive line. On defense, UNC allowed 25.7 points and 390 yards per game a year ago. All four starters are back from the secondary, including junior corner Tim Scott, who had four interceptions in 2012. Also back for the UNC defense is end Kareem Martin, who had four sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss last season.

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In terms of Injuries, UNC running back A.J. Blue is questionable with a hamstring injury while receiver Dalton Stogner is out with a knee injury. South Carolina receiver Bruce Ellington is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury while tackle Cody Gibson is questionable with a knee injury.

The Public Bets for this game are currently backing South Carolina. The Gamecocks are getting 74% of the wagers with odds of -12 points against North Carolina tonight.

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