So Carolina vs. Virginia Belk Bowl Pick
A pair of teams that finished the season with identical 7-5 records will meet in the Belk Bowl Saturday when South Carolina clashes with Virginia at 12:00 p.m. ET. Are the Gamecocks laying too many points in such a tight matchup or will the SEC flex its dominance over the ACC?
251 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. 252 Virginia Cavaliers
12:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, December 29, 2018
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Gamecocks are 4-point favorites to beat the Cavaliers. The total, meanwhile, sits at 54 points. As of this writing, 55% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Cavaliers.
South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina freshman WR Josh Vann will have his role expanded in the team's bowl game. Vann (5'10/185) has been rotating outside during his freshman season, but there will be more snaps and targets to go around with wide receiver Deebo Samuel skipping the game to focus on the 2019 NFL Draft. Vann won't be the starting outside receiver with Shi Smith sliding outside, but Vann is expected to see more than his typical 2-3 targets per game. If you are playing DFS this Saturday, read Hayden Winks' breakdown (linked below) with a deeper dive on South Carolina's offense.
Virginia redshirt junior QB Bryce Perkins completed 14-of-29 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns while running for 112 yards in a 34-31 overtime loss to Virginia Tech. Two of Perkins touchdowns were to Joe Reed. His first came on a double move from Reed that Perkins dropped in the bucket from 29 yards out and the second was from 75 yards away. The third score went to Hasise Dubois who beat his man on a slant route from 29-yards out. Perkins will end the regular season with a 22/9 TD/INT ratio before the team's bowl game.
The over is 4-1 in the Gamecocks’ last five games overall.
The over is 5-0 in the Cavaliers’ last five bowl games.
Virginia got blown out by Navy 49-7 in the Military Bowl last year and is coming off back-to-back overtimes losses, including in the Commonwealth Cup game to Virginia Tech. I expect the Cavaliers to be focused and determined to show that their program is headed in the right direction. Ball-control is the name of the game today. Virginia ranks 29th in time of possession, averaging 31:43 in terms of keeping the ball per game. South Carolina, meanwhile, ranks 127th, which is third-to-last nationally. If Virginia can go on long scoring drives and force a few three-and-outs, a tired South Carolina defense could wilt in the second half.
Belk Bowl Prediction: Virginia Cavaliers +4