David Purdum, a longtime sports gambling writer, and I took some time this week to talk about the South Carolina-Kentucky game, in which the Gamecocks are 21-point favorites. If you’re looking for an edge on the bet, we may have found you one.
The State: Frankly David, this week is not super sexy. South Carolina vs. Kentucky. A 21-point spread. What’s the movement on that line been?
David Purdum: It opened up just a tick over 21, 21.5 at the Las Vegas Wynn, which is the first shop in Vegas to go up. Somebody grabbed that 21.5 for Kentucky. That’s not unusual since it’s over that three-touchdown line.
The State: I know that the power rankings are what set those lines, but do the oddsmakers factor in the fact that it’s Steve Spurrier vs. Mark Stoops? Spurrier’s best buddy in the coaching ranks is Mark’s older brother Bob Stoops. I’ve got a feeling Spurrier will try not to embarrass a Stoops. Will oddsmakers factor that in?
David Purdum: No. That’s an angle that a lot of the sharp bettors will go on, but the books they are so reliant on their power rankings. Remember, they are setting the line for 100 games on a weekend or however many there are, college, pro, baseball, everything. That little nugget, which you could definitely see coming into play, if I was to call one of them and point that out, they would say, ‘No, that did not figure into the line.”
The State: Spurrier has only lost to Kentucky once in his career. How is he against the spread versus the Wildcats?
David Purdum: Five and two against the spread. He’s got their number for sure, but they didn’t play necessarily great last week. They’ve got the quarterback issue. Three touchdowns, like you said maybe he lets them hang around, doesn’t put them away.