Josh Kendall

Why Las Vegas likes Wildcats over Gamecocks despite records

USC-UK preview: Gamecocks prepare for third SEC road trip

The State's Josh Kendall and David Cloninger preview and predict the Gamecocks' game against Kentucky, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
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The State's Josh Kendall and David Cloninger preview and predict the Gamecocks' game against Kentucky, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Lexington, Ky.

Despite Kentucky’s struggles this season, South Carolina is a 2.5-point underdog in Saturday’s game in Lexington, Ky. We talked to David Purdum of ESPN Chalk to understand why and to talk about how bad Wildcats coach Mark Stoops has been against the point spread.

Purdum: This is the first time since 2002, South Carolina is an underdog to Kentucky. That’s pretty eye-opening to me. I thought maybe in 2005 when Kentucky was pretty good there, beat LSU once. I thought maybe then but no, it’s all the way back to 2002. It’s surprising.

The State: Is that a reflection of the odds makers being stubborn about their preseason ranking of Kentucky (1-2) or them just still being really low on South Carolina (2-1)?

Purdum: Probably a little bit of both. South Carolina is only a 2.5-point underdog here, down to 1.5 in some places, so if enough money comes over throughout the week it definitely could switch. In fact, I would not be surprised by that just because of the perception of this Kentucky team is not good. It’s got to be worse than South Carolina. Everyone is banging on South Carolina for their struggles, but Kentucky has been really, really bad.

The State: The good news for South Carolina fans is that Mark Stoops hasn’t had much luck against the spread, right?

Purdum: He’s 6-18-1 in SEC play since taking over at Kentucky. That’s by far the worst against the spread record in conference play, probably one of the worst in the nation actually in all conferences. Stoops has struggled. He got all those big recruiting classes, got all the hype and hasn’t delivered.

Game info

Who: South Carolina (2-1) vs. Kentucky (1-2)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Commonwealth Stadium; Lexington, Ky.

TV: SEC Network. Radio: 107.5 FM

Line: Kentucky by 2 1/2

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