David Purdum of ESPN Chalk joins us this week to talk about the South Carolina-Florida line, a newly posted line on the season-ending game against Clemson, and, of course, the presidential election.
The State: One week after South Carolina covered as the favorite against Missouri, the Gamecocks are back to being big underdogs against Florida, but that line has moved some hasn’t it?
Purdum: It opened up at 13.5 at the Wynn. It’s down to 11. Some of that could be due to the Florida quarterback situation. That might have directed some early money, but it’s right at 11 or 10 at most sports books.
The State: We talked earlier in the season about how quarterback is about the only position where injury affects the line much, and it has here even though regular starter Luke Del Rio wasn’t that great when he was healthy right?
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Purdum: Absolutely. At some of the offshore books the opening line was as high as 15 on Florida. Now with the quarterback change it seems to be coming down. I would say this number would be higher if Del Rio was still there.
The State: You tell me you’ve seen a South Carolina-Clemson line pop up now?
Purdum: Yeah, it’s on the games of the year. It’s 24.5 for Clemson so South Carolina is still going to be a big underdog there. The oddsmakers like the Tigers a lot. I don’t know how much action there has been on this game but obviously a 24.5-point spread is pretty significant. Gosh, five years ago just think about where that line was. South Carolina was probably favored. Now Clemson is more than a three-touchdown favorite. A pretty dramatic change.
The State: We’d be remiss this week if we didn’t talk about the presidential election. I have seen throughout the process that lines were posted on who would win. Explain that to us. Could you actually bet on that?
Purdum: They are actual lines, but they are from the UK and Europe. In the United States, you are not allowed to bet on the elections in Nevada. Last night the last time I checked before I went to sleep it was about 11 o’clock and I think Hillary Clinton was a heavy favorite, a 1-to-5 favorite. The next thing I knew in the middle of the night when I woke up and looked at things, Trump had become a 1-to-10 favorite. So from Clinton being a dramatic favorite all the way to Trump in a couple hours. I talked to some of the UK books this morning. They are calling it one of the political betting upsets in history. It drew tons of money and tons of action. It’s pretty remarkable the betting market is with the U.S. presidential election.
The State: So who won, the UK books or the UK bettors?
Purdum: The UK books came out pretty well. Eighty percent of all the money wagered at Ladbrokes was on Clinton. There were some large wagers on Trump and more bets were placed on him.