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2018 Belk Bowl: Virginia opens as 3.5-point underdogs against South Carolina

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The Hoos are 8-4 against the spread this season.

NCAA Football: Akron at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Belk Bowl announced Sunday afternoon that the Virginia Cavaliers will be taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the annual matchup between an ACC and SEC opponent. By Sunday evening, the Vegas oddsmakers had placed the Hoos as a 3.5-point underdog.

Both teams are 7-5, but all five of South Carolina’s losses are to ranked opponents—SC’s only ranked opponents on the season. Two of those opponents include powerhouses Clemson and Georgia. Virginia’s losses came at the hands of teams like Georgia Tech, which is headed to Detroit in the Quick Lane Bowl, and Virginia Tech, 4-6 heading into the matchup with the Hoos. But, Virginia beat a ranked team in Miami, something South Carolina can’t claim on the season.

The Hoos are 8-4 against the spread on the season—not a lot of teams can say they’re better than that, making Virginia a great bet. Here’s how they’re tracking:

Virginia Football Against the Spread

Date Team Closing Odds Final Result Against The Spread (Record ATS)
Date Team Closing Odds Final Result Against The Spread (Record ATS)
September 1 Richmond -14.5 W 42-13 W (1-0)
September 8 @ Indiana 5 L 16-20 W (2-0)
September 15 Ohio -4.5 W 45-31 W (3-0)
September 22 Louisville -4.5 W 27-3 W (4-0)
September 29 @ NC State 6.5 L 21-35 L (4-1)
October 13 Miami 7 W 16-13 W (5-1)
October 20 @ Duke 6.5 W 28-14 W (6-1)
October 27 UNC -8 W 31-21 W (7-1)
November 2 Pittsburgh -7 L 13-23 L (7-2)
November 10 Liberty -24 W 45-24 L (7-3)
November 17 @ Georgia Tech 6 L 27-30 W (8-3)
November 23 @ Virginia Tech -5 L 31-34 L (8-4)
December 29 South Carolina (Belk Bowl) 3.5
VegasInsider.com

South Carolina is 7-5 against the spread this season, covering in four of their last five games. This is the sixth time this season that UVA has gone in as an underdog, going just 2-3 in the previous five. South Carolina has been favored in five games this season and has won all five games. Three of those five, though, are over Coastal Carolina, Chattanooga, and Akron.

Virginia and South Carolina kick off at noon on Saturday, December 29 in Charlotte. The game will be nationally televised on ABC.