This week, sports gambling industry journalist David Purdum and I talk about the Tennessee game and the fact that Volunteers are not even meeting Las Vegas’ low expectations of them. Also, we give you a great reason to go out and bet one dollar on Florida to win the national title.
The State: David, South Carolina is a 7.5-point favorite at Tennessee. Is there anything intriguing about this line?
It hasn’t moved very much. The MGM sportsbook, which is the biggest of the Nevada shops, does have it at 8. It looks like they opened at 8, so there hasn’t been a lot of movement.
The State: You tell me the Vols have covered in five of the last seven games in this series?
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David Purdum: Spurrier, I think is 3-5-1 against the spread at Tennessee at South Carolina. What stood out to me is Tennessee is 2-16 straight up in its last 18 games in SEC play. That was eye-popping to me how bad they have fallen.
The State: And 1-6-1 against the spread in their last eight games as home underdogs? So that means they are not even meeting those lowered expectations, right?
David Purdum. Home dogs are usually pretty solid bets. They are right at 52 percent over the last 10 years or something like that, but Tennessee is terrible.
The State: My favorite thing that you sent me this week is the fact that Florida is 9,999-to-1 to win the national title. Shouldn’t we all put a dollar on Florida?
David Purdum: Absolutely. When I saw that, that seemed way too drastic reaction to the loss at LSU. Basically, if they win out, they will get in the SEC title game and if they were to beat Alabama, a lot of people would be saying, ‘OK, a two-loss SEC team with a win over Alabama vs. Ohio State who hasn’t beaten anybody or a Louisville who hasn’t beaten anybody.’ It seems like that chance would happen more than 9,999 times.
The State: Las Vegas expects Alabama and Oregon to get to the national title game at this point is that right?
David Purdum: Oregon moved into a co-favorite role this week which was kind of interesting. Alabama and Oregon are now 8-to-5 co-favorites at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino superbook. They also have an early line out on the BCS title game and Alabama is a 3.5-point favorite over Oregon. That’s at the Golden Nugget sportsbook where that line hung. The sportsbook director over there told me he has seen almost equal action on both sides. Folks definitely think Oregon has a chance over Alabama.
The State: Is there any movement on the South Carolina-Missouri game which is two weeks away?
David Purdum: The Gamecocks are minus-6 right now. That’s an interesting number because of the (James) Franklin injury. I don’t know if that line has moved a lot.