With each passing day, we are drawing ever closer to the college football playoffs, but before we get there, we have a lot of football still to come. Yes, we are right in the middle of bowl season and the matchups are getting better and better as we get a little deeper into this time of year. For the purposes of this piece, we are taking a look at the Gator Bowl, which will be held in Jacksonville on December 30. We have a very good matchup for this one, with Notre Dame set to lock horns with the South Carolina Gamecocks in what promises to be a good one. There is also every chance that this game could be a close one, and the bookies certainly seem to agree, as they have the Irish in as a modest 2 ½ point favorite. The point total for the Gator Bowl is set at 52. Let’s preview each team in this matchup, and then we’ll give you our NCAA Football Bowl Betting prediction for the 2022 Gator Bowl.
Who is Playing in the Gator Bowl? | Notre Dame Fighting Irish versus South Carolina Gamecocks
Gator Bowl Betting Info for Notre Dame at South Carolina
- When: Friday, December 30 at 3:30 PM EST
- Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville
- TV: ESPN
Why bet on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
It was a tough start to the season for the Irish, who came out of the gate at 0-2. Their opening week loss to Ohio State was not that surprising, but a loss to Marshall in Week 2 was one that very few people saw coming. It would have been very easy for Notre Dame to go in the tank at the point, but they rallied well, winning 3 in a row before losing to Stanford. They shook that loss off, too, and reeled off another 5 in a row, including a big won over Clemson, before losing to USC on the final week of the season to finish 8-4. The Irish scored over 30 PPG this season, surrendering just shy of 22 PPG, so pretty solid on both sides of the football. Notre Dame has covered the spread in 13 of their last 20 games, with the OVER hitting in each of their last 6.
Why bet on the South Carolina Gamecocks
Sometimes, it’s not how you start the season that counts, but how you finish it. Like the Irish, South Carolina got off to a wobbly start, losing 2 of their first 3 games. In fairness, both losses came at the hands of ranked teams, including a blowout loss to the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs. The Gamecocks rallied nicely, but they had some ups and downs in conference play, going 4-4 in the SEC. Still, they finished the season strong, delivering back-to-back statement wins against Clemson and Tennessee, so they may be coming into this one on a bit of a high. The offense put up over 31 PPG this season, while the defense surrendered 27 PPG. The Gamecocks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 as an underdog, with the OVER hitting in 6 of their last 9 overall.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
In terms of the win, this game looks like a bit of a coin flip to me, as I really think it could go either way. I am leaning toward the Irish to win and cover, but I may skip that in favor of simply playing the OVER, which looks to be the best bet to me.
College Football Betting Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish 31 South Carolina Gamecocks 27