It’s finally here! A full slate of college football for Week 1. There are loads of games to pick and choose from. Keep it light and stick with strong conviction plays this early in a new season. Here’s one underdog to bet.
North Carolina (-140) at South Carolina +2.5 (+115)
Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler is not given enough recognition. He’s 23-7 as a starter, but five of those losses came last year in his first season with South Carolina and three of them were respectable (Georgia, Florida, and Notre Dame).
I’m choosing to believe that there’s more to this offense based on the final two games of the 2022 season. Rattler had back-to-back games airing it out with wins over Clemson and Tennessee, throwing for 798 passing yards and eight touchdowns. Coach Shane Beamer needs to implement more of that!
Rattler will have his go-to guy back in the mix, leading receiver Antwane “Juice” Wells.The 6-foot-1 senior finished fifth in the SEC in total receiving yards and fourth in receiving yards per game. He’s a huge returning piece for the Gamecocks offense.
Shove the passing attack down North Carolina’s throat. Last year, the Tar Heels were bottom 20 (111th) in passing defense while ranking fifth worst on the road. It’s a poor secondary and needs to replace two of its top three defensive backs, including Storm Duck, who accounted for most passes deflected and most interceptions on team.
Rattler has the arm strength and talent to exploit this defense using Wells’ after-the-catch ability to really gain some yards against UNC.
Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye is a early look Heisman contender. However, he could have some trouble against the Gamecocks defense, which led the SEC in forced interceptions and return three of its top four defensive backs. The South Carolina secondary will be the…