Josh Kendall

Early Vegas money on East Carolina; Muschamp history vs. spread

Game preview: USC defense, offense eye fast start in home opener

The State's Josh Kendall and David Cloninger preview and predict the Gamecocks' game against East Carolina, set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
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The State's Josh Kendall and David Cloninger preview and predict the Gamecocks' game against East Carolina, set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

David Purdum of ESPN Chalk joined us this week to talk about South Carolina’s game against East Carolina, Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp’s career against the spread and what the national betting scene looks like this week.

The State: Where does the line stand at the moment?

Purdum: South Carolina is a 3.5-point favorite right now. That’s pretty much the consensus at all the Vegas books. It opened up at 5 at the Wynn, the first book that goes up on Sundays. It has been bet down to 3.5 so the early action has been on East Carolina, which looked pretty impressive last week.

The State: How has Will Muschamp done in his career against the spread?

Purdum: He regrouped his last year a little bit, but he was pretty bad against the spread his first three years at Florida. He ended up 22-29 and that includes this year’s 1-1 record against the spread. Not overly bad, but still a losing record against the spread. When you look at the coaches who have a losing record against the spread, they usually don’t last very long. We will see if he can regroup on that. Something that is really interesting that I was looking at is at Florida, his teams were 6-12-1 against the number after a straight up loss. When they lost, they did not come back and play well or meet the expectations of the betting market for sure. We will see if he’s got that rectified now.

The State: What’s the most interesting national storyline out there at the moment?

Purdum: Alabama is a 10-point favorite against an Ole Miss team that has beat them twice in a row. I know Nick Saban is really fired up to end that streak so that’s an interesting one. The number has not moved off of 10. I had a lot of people when that line popped up say, “That looks high,” so we’ll see how that gets bet. Oklahoma-Ohio State is a really intriguing game for everybody. Really fascinating line movement in this one, too. When it opened, it was one of the games of the year, one of those early point spreads they put up, Oklahoma was a 9-point favorite. Now they are a 2- to 3-point underdog. Two weeks, dramatic change in perception for the Sooners and the Buckeyes.

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