Josh Kendall

Even after hot start, Gamecocks underdogs again in Vegas

South Carolina (1-0) is an underdog for the second time in as many games this season. We talked to ESPN.com sports gaming writer David Purdum this week about the matchup between the Gamecocks and the Missouri Tigers, who are 2.5-point favorites.

How has the line moved this week?

Missouri opened up as a 3.5-point favorite. The lines went up in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday. Since then, it dropped down to Missouri minus-2.5. That 3.5 to 2.5 is a significant move obviously because it gets it off the field goal. There is no question that the early influential money has been on the Gamecocks here in this SEC opener.

I was surprised Missouri opened as a favorite based on last week’s results and the preseason expectations. Why was that, just home field advantage?

Home field advantage is definitely a big part of it. They put up a ton of points against Missouri State or whoever. I think when you see somebody put up that many points it definitely impacts it. It stands out when you see that, like, “Wow, that’s a lot of points.” It is a little surprising in my opinion as well that Missouri opened as big a favorite as they did, but I do think it was home field advantage and that gaudy offensive performance.

Do you expect more movement as the week goes on or does the line usually stabilize late in the week?

Because it’s under that key number of three. If it does keep going down, it would not be surprising for it to get all the way to pick-em or even or for South Carolina to become the favorite. The influential bettors look at the numbers. Two is not an important number, one is not that important a number so if they are going to bet it at 2.5, they will probably bet it all the way across. If that starts to happen, it would be surprising to see South Carolina end up as the favorite.

What was the biggest betting story of the weekend in a big first weekend of college football?

It’s kind of funny. The biggest betting story would have to be Howard’s upset of UNLV. Howard was a 45-point underdog in that game. That’s the largest point spread upset that we have found dating back to the mid-80s. People kind of scoff at it being called the largest upset but point spread-wise, it was.

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