Gambling industry journalist David Purdum joins us once again this week to talk about the line on the South Carolina-UCF game and give us some other nuggets. A teaser: If you think LSU is going to beat Georgia this weekend, you might want to jump on the Gamecocks now as a 100-to-1 bet to win the BCS national title.
The State: David, you sent me several interesting nuggets this week, including the fact that this is the first time UCF has been a home underdog since 2009. That points to the fact they are building a decent program there, right?
David Purdum: Oh, definitely. Dating back to 2007, they have covered the spread in four of their six games as a home underdog. Coach (George) O’Leary has done a good job over there.
The State: Where does the line sit now and what do you think about it?
David Purdum: It’s right at seven. I saw it kick up to 7.5, which is a pretty significant move obviously. I have not seen Central Florida play this year yet. It doesn’t look like anybody has a really strong opinion in the betting market at least. When it did pick up to 7.5, it quickly came right back to seven. That indicates to me that people are waiting for that key number. Anytime they can get a number just under seven or just over seven, some of the bigger bettors will likely grab it because of the value of those key numbers.
The State: Looking ahead some, you found some lines on South Carolina-Florida and South Carolina-Clemson and the Gamecocks are favorites in both, right?
David Purdum: Yeah, 6.5 over Florida. I just saw that the big tackle for Florida might be gone for the season so that line could possibly go up, and of course the Gators have had a quarterback change as well. That’s an interesting one, and of course the one at the end of the year, Clemson-South Carolina, has become such a huge game. South Carolina is a three-point home favorite there.
The State: South Carolina you know tell me is 100-to-1 to win the BCS title. Those odds just keep going up and up. Is there a particular reason for that?
David Purdum: They just don’t have any money on South Carolina. They are doing anything they can to try to generate some kind of action on South Carolina. At 100-to-1, it might worth a stab. Georgia needs to lose twice obviously for South Carolina to be able to squeak into the SEC title game, but then the cards fall right and South Carolina gets in against an Alabama team, basically you have 100-to-1 odds right there on them beating Alabama. That seems like a good play to me.
David Purdum: Steve Spurrier has covered the spread in 147 games in his career. Only three active coaches have covered the spread in more games. Who’s your guess? (Full disclosure: I got none of them.) You’ve got Mack Brown at Texas, Bill Snyder at Kansas State and Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. They all have between 150-160 covers.