Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#621 South Carolina 125.5 vs.
#622 Texas A&M -1.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 1:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.



#621 University of South Carolina
#622 Texas A&M University


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South Carolina will be looking to build on a big win and Texas A&M will attempt to bounce back from an overtime loss when the two teams meet on Saturday afternoon at Reed Arena. The Gamecocks are coming off a Wednesday night buzzer-beating win against Kentucky. Texas A&M lost a heartbreaker against LSU in overtime on Tuesday.

Gamecocks coming off big upset

South Carolina might be the hardest college basketball team to get a feel for this season. It only takes a quick glance at the Gamecocks’ last five games. They have lost to Florida and Tennessee, which were both reasonable losses. However, they also lost a stunner at home against Stetson. Bracketing those three defeats are wins against No. 9 Virginia and No. 10 Kentucky. The win against the Cavaliers came on the road right before Christmas. The victory over the Wildcats was a home game on Wednesday night. South Carolina banked in a 3-pointer as time expired to grab the win.

Sophomore guard AJ Lawson leads the team with 13.9 points per game and 2.3 assists per game. He leads South Carolina in made 3-pointers, connecting on 26 of 83 attempts from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard has really broken out of his shell of late. There was never more evidence of that than in his first collegiate start on Wednesday, as he poured in 26 points and hit the game-winner. He is scoring 10.1 points per game, despite coming off the bench in all but Wednesday’s contest. Senior big man Maik Kotsar is scoring 10.1 points per game and is grabbing 6.1 rebounds per outing.

Aggies fresh off brutal loss to LSU

Texas A&M had recovered from a brutal start to the season, winning five of its last six games heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against LSU. The Aggies appeared poised to continue that hot stretch for most of the game. LSU jumped out to a 42-32 lead at halftime, but Texas A&M played well to open the second half. The Aggies grabbed a 77-71 lead on a 3-pointer with 2:27 remaining, but the Tigers drained a pair of 3-pointers in a 28-second span to tie the game and send it to overtime. Texas A&M missed an outside shot with 17 seconds remaining in overtime and LSU hit a pair of free throws to seal the deal.

Senior forward Josh Nebo leads the Aggies with 12.1 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game. The big man is not a threat from the perimeter, only attempting one 3-pointer this season. Junior wing Savion Flagg is scoring 11.3 points per game and is dishing out 2.3 assists per contest. He is by far the best 3-point shooter on the roster, making 24 of 63 from downtown. Freshman guard Andre Gordon is providing a spark in his first season, scoring 8.2 points per game. Senior guard Wendell Mitchell is scoring 7.6 points per game and is grabbing 3.1 rebounds.

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South Carolina has been an excellent road team this season, and I expect that to continue on Saturday afternoon. The Gamecocks now have another offensive weapon since Couisnard has burst onto the scene lately, which makes them a much more dangerous team. Texas A&M relies on Nebo inside, but Kotsar should be able to provide a formidable challenge in the paint. South Carolina has covered in each of its last five road games and is 4-2 ATS in its last six meetings with the Aggies. I like Frank Martinโ€™s team to leave town with a win.

Prediction: South Carolina +1.5

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South Carolina might play an up-tempo style of basketball according to the metrics, but the Gamecocks still try to grab ugly wins with Martin as their coach. This mantra ramps up even more in conference play, with seven of South Carolinaโ€™s last 10 games going under the total. Texas A&M is going to be in no hurry, as the Aggies come in ranked No. 331 in the country in tempo, according to KenPom. They have seen 13 of their last 17 games go under the number, including 11 of their last 13 home games.

Prediction: Under 125.5

Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, itโ€™s a marathon, not a sprint.