David Purdum of ESPN Chalk joined us this week to talk about the South Carolina-Tennessee game.
The State: What’s the line movement been like for the Gamecocks game against the Volunteers on Saturday night?
Purdum: It moved down to 13.5, 13 can be found as well. It opened at 14.5 and dropped a point. Under 14 is a big move. Of course, these games have been so close the last few years but I throw those out the window. I don’t put much stock in that right now.
The State: So, you like Tennessee to cover?
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Purdum: Yeah, Tennessee is a very good team. They have just lost to two very good teams. They are coming off a bye. I know they are banged up but I really think South Carolina is not going to be able to keep up with them on offense.
The State: How does Las Vegas factor in a string of injuries like the Volunteers have had?
Purdum: The normal reaction is less than what some people expect. Even though they lost Cam Sutton, their best defensive back, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, their best linebacker, yet their power ranking will be only slightly diminished. The public and everybody else always overreacts compared to Vegas’ reactions. There are just not many players other than quarterbacks who can significantly move the line. Maybe a Leonard Fournette.
The State: So, you’re in Las Vegas right now for a panel on betting on e-sports, which is essentially people playing video games. Give us an idea of what’s going on there.
Purdum: It’s the next big thing, that’s what the belief is in the gambling world. I still think we’re five, 10 years away from it really taking hold, but there are some people who believe that in the next 10 years people will be betting more on e-sports than they will be on traditional sports. That just seems absurd at this point, but some estimates say there is already $5 billion wagered on e-sports and most of it is done internationally. In Nevada, we are getting ready to pass some regulations. The first bet at a Nevada sports book on e-sports is expected to happen this year.