USF vs. South Carolina, 12/29/16 – Expert Prediction

Game Snapshot

South Florida Bulls
South Carolina Gamecocks

Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 2:00pm

Written by on

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

South Florida Bulls (10-2; 8-4 ATS; 9-3 O/U) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-6; 5-6-1 ATS; 4-8 O/U)

NCAAF Birmingham Bowl: Thursday December 29, 2016 at 2:00pm EST

Line: South Florida -10.5

Total: 62.5

The South Florida Bulls will battle the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Birmingham Bowl on the 29th of December from Legion Field in Birmingham, AL. South Florida finished with a 7-1 conference record, placing them second in the AAC, and South Carolina posted a 6-6 record in the tough SEC. This will be the first meetings between these teams since 2004.

USF Enters Birmingham Bowl with New Coach

The South Florida Bulls come into the Birmingham Bowl as heavy favorites and will have a good chance at winning their first bowl since 2010. Willie Taggart left South Florida to coach Oregon and the Bulls wasted no time hiring Charlie Strong, however co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist will coach the Bulls in this contest. The Bulls finished the season red hot, winning their final four games which included a win over a ranked Navy team. Quinton Flowers had a phenomenal season, accumulating 2551 passing yards with a 22:6 TD to INT ratio, and also rushed for 1425 yards with 15 rushing touchdowns. The only other quarterback in the nation to tally more rushing yards was Lamar Jackson. The Bulls dangerous running game also features Marlon Mack who had a productive season. Mack rushed for over 1100 yards and recorded at least one touchdown in each game this season. South Florida will no doubt look to run the ball against a vulnerable South Carolina rush defense. South Florida features one of the best offensive units in the Country, averaging 43.6 points per game, good for seventh in the nation.

The Bulls defense will give up points and definitely rely on their offense to win games. They will give up a lot of yards but they will be going up against a South Carolina team that struggled to score points all season. South Florida conceded an average of 31 points per game, ranking them 86th overall.

Freshman QB Bentley Leads Gamecocks into Birmingham Bowl

The South Carolina Gamecocks will be playing in a bowl game for the seventh time in their last eight seasons. South Carolina notched a few impressive victories which included a win over Tennessee but they mostly struggled against the stronger opponents. Quarterback Jake Bentley missed the first six games of the season, and threw for 1030 yards with a 6:2 TD to INT ratio. The highly touted freshman quarterback got off to a hot start, really struggled as the season winded down, throwing zero touchdowns over the last three games. The Gamecocks feature solid depth in their receiving core with three receivers collecting 500 or more yards. Deebo Samuel led the way with 593 yards in the air and he will be one to watch against an USF defense that has struggled to defend the pass this season. Running back Rico Dowdle will need to be at his best and will see a good amount of carries. Dowdle accumulated 714 rushing yards, and averaged a solid 5.9 yards per carry. The Gamecocks struggled offensively this season, averaging only 19.2 points per game, ranking them down at 121st overall.

The South Carolina defense is the strength of their football team, and they will face a very tough task against USF’s prolific offense. The Gamecocks did have success defending the pass this season, allowing only 204 passing yards per game. South Carolina will need to come up with a brilliant defensive performance to have a chance to win this game. The Gamecocks allowed an average of 24.8 points per game, placing them 45th overall.


The South Florida Bulls are:

  • 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing fewer than 100 rushing yards in their previous game.
  • 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games overall.

The South Carolina Gamecocks are:

  • 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games after conceding more than 450 total yards in their previous game.

I have to go with South Florida in this one. South Florida features one of the best offensive units in the Nation, and I don’t think South Carolina will have an answer for them. South Carolina struggled to defend the running game, conceding 205 rushing yards  per game and that is bad news for them as South Florida features the fifth ranked running game led by Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack who are both very tough to stop. The Gamecocks offense isn’t not even close to the level of South Florida’s offense as they own the 107 rated running game and 96th passing game. South Florida is averaging 24 more points per game than South Carolina and I think they take this one in blowout fashion.

Pick: South Florida -10.5

Charlie Strong isn’t coaching this game, but he’d want South Florida to play some defense. They should have no major issues against a South Carolina squad that is still developing on offense. USF has an explosive offense, but they’ll facing a pretty good SEC defense that got embarrassed in their last game against Clemson. A month of preparation should have them more prepared for the speed of the Bulls.

Under 62.5


NBA on Wednesday, 1-18-2017

Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trailblazers, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between a pair of skidding teams looking to get back on track in Buzz City. The Portland Trail Blazers are on the road as they continue a trip with... Read More

Washington Wizards vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between a pair of teams in their respective playoff races in the nation’s capital. The Memphis Grizzlies are on the road as they battle the Washi... Read More

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, 01/18/17 - Prediction

DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors will take on the surging Philadelphia 76ers in a divisional battle Wednesday night from the Wells Fargo Center.... Read More

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s a matchup of Atlantic Division foes up in the Northeast. The New York Knicks continue a road trip as they battle the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. New York lost for the 11... Read More

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

An inter-conference clash of teams trying to pick up a victory takes place down in the Big Easy. The Orlando Magic closes their six game road trip as they take on the New Orleans P... Read More

Atlanta Hawks vs. Detroit Pistons, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

It’s a matchup of Eastern Conference foes in the Motor City. The Atlanta Hawks are on the road as they battle the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. Atlanta won for the ninth time ... Read More

Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 01/18/17 - Prediction

The Houston Rockets will be playing the second game of a back-to-back situation when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at the Toyota Center on Wednesday night.... Read More

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 01/18/17 - Prediction

Golden State got some revenge on "rival" Cleveland on Monday night, winning with ease, 126-91 at home. Oklahoma City is coming off a 120-98 road loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on... Read More

Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers, 01/18/17 - Preview & Prediction

The Pacers head to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Wednesday night. Both of these teams have aspirations of making the playoffs. The Pacers have won six of ten and are curren... Read More

NCAAB on Wednesday, 1-18-2017

Florida vs. South Carolina, 01/18/17 - Prediction & Preview

The red-hot South Carolina Gamecocks face the even hotter Florida Gators on Wednesday in a matchup of undefeated SEC teams. SC is now 4-0 in the SEC after beating Ole Miss, 67-56 o... Read More

Missouri St vs. Indiana St, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

The Missouri State Bears will battle the Indiana State Sycamores in a conference matchup Wednesday night from the Hulman Center.... Read More

Fordham vs. VCU, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

The VCU Rams will be trying to bounce back from a rare loss when they visit the Fordham Rams at Rose Hill Gym on Wednesday night.... Read More

Temple vs. Cincinnati, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

Temple has now lost five of six games after falling at home to Tulsa, 70-68. The Owls are just 1-5 in the AAC, while Cincinnati is 5-0 and has won eight straight games overall. The... Read More

See all upcoming picks!

Last Updated: December 27, 2016

Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.