Josh Kendall

October 10, 2013

What Vegas Thinks: How USC has fared against point spreads

Sports gambling journalist David Purdum joins us again this week to talk the South Carolina-Arkansas line and a couple of fascinating gambling nuggets from around the country.

Josh Kendall

News and views about Gamecocks football

Sports gambling journalist David Purdum joins us again this week to talk the South Carolina-Arkansas line and a couple of fascinating gambling nuggets from around the country, including why one sportsbook in Las Vegas is rooting very, very hard against Baylor right now.

The State: David, tell us about the South Carolina-Arkansas line.

David Purdum: It opened up at 7 at the Wynn. The Wynn is the first book in Vegas to post weekly college football lines. It was quickly bet down to 6, and that’s where it sits now. So there was some quick action on Arkansas. Whether that was the (Jadeveon) Clowney news or just overall Gamecocks struggles lately, there was some interest in Arkansas early on.

The State: I can see if a line is set on Sunday with the Clowney news just breaking and South Carolina coming off an underwhelming performance why it would be bet down so quickly.

David Purdum: The Gamecocks have only covered one of their last six conference games, and they are 3-8 in their last 11 overall against the spread. They have not been meeting the betting markets’ expectations, and it seems like the betting market thinks that will continue.

The State: Now let’s talk about a couple national nuggets you brought to my attention. The Ohio State-Northwestern game, talk about how a late score by the Buckeyes caused a lot of money to move.

David Purdum: It was a crazy. Last play, the Buckeyes recover a fumble for a touchdown and end up covering the spread. Ridiculously bad beat if you had Northwestern plus-6 or 7. According to the three Vegas books I talked to, it caused about a $3 or $4 million swing in favor of bettors, and that’s just in the state of Nevada. One book told me it was $500,000 it lost on that one play.

The State: The next thing you told me is even crazier. Baylor started the season at 200-to-1 to win the national title and now its odds are what?

David Purdum: They are now 6-to-1 at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Six-to-one is ridiculous odds for them for as much as needs to happen even if they go undefeated. What caused this was a giant bet that came in. The sportsbook director at the LVH would not tell me an exact amount. He just said it was large enough where I was forced to make sure I didn’t take anymore Baylor money. So he dropped them down to 6-to-1. That’s a pretty significant move. It had gone down from 200 to 100 to 75, and then this guy came in and placed a significant wager at 75-to-1. They hadn’t taken a lot of bets before that on Baylor, but that one bet make Baylor their biggest liability to win the national championship. He said it was not quite five figures. If I had to estimate, it is between $5,000 and $10,000. At 75-to-1, that can turn out the lights at a sportsbook if the Bears pull the upset.

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