Saturday’s South Carolina-Clemson game will make a little history even before the game gets started.
The Tigers are 17-point favorites against the Gamecocks, which is “by far” the largest point spread in this series based on available records, according to ESPN Chalk’s David Purdum, who joined us this week to talk about the game.
The State: This line has been moving up, up, up for the Tigers. Where does it stand now?
Purdum: We’re looking at 17. It opened at 15.5 at the Wynn so it’s ticked up a little bit. The first line that came out for this game was from the Golden Nugget sports book. Every June, they put up about 250 point spreads for college football. At the time, Clemson opened as a 3-point favorite, and now it’s 17. That just shows you how perceptions have changed.
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The State: Is this the largest point spread for this game in the available records?
Purdum: Yes. In the last 30 years, back to the mid-90s, this is the largest one I have found. I only saw one other one, in 1998 that was a double-digit point spread so this was is by far the biggest in at least the last 30 years.
The State: How much do the pro gamblers bet those early summer lines?
Purdum: They do. There are $1,000 limits on these games so it’s not the huge pros, but the guys who best consistently, these are very popular. They will come in there with their numbers and just compare them to what the Golden Nugget puts up. If you have a Clemson ticket with minus-3 right now, you are feeling great. It works both ways of course.
The State: You were telling me that Steve Spurrier was easy money in this rivalry?
Purdum: Man, you wanted to bet him against Dabo. Sesven and three against the spread in his 10 games against Clemson. He was a moneymaker.
The State: What other line movement have you seen around the country and around the region?
Purdum: There have been some interesting ones. Of course one of the biggest ones is Ohio State at Michigan. Ohio State was minus-16 back in June. Now they are a one-point underdog in some spots. Alabama-Auburn also moved pretty considerably. Alabama was only a 3.5-point favorite in June. We all thought Auburn was going to be a very good team. It’s all the way up to 14 so those are some examples of how this season has played out. It’s always kind of neat to look back and say, ‘Wow, we thought Auburn was going to be great and now they are double-digit home underdogs.’