Josh Kendall

Largest USC-UGA line in 20 years might move toward Gamecocks late in week

Gamecocks facing versatile Saban influenced Georgia defense

Jake Bentley and crew will be facing a defense run by a Nick Saban protige. Good thing Will Muschamp was taught by the same coach.
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Jake Bentley and crew will be facing a defense run by a Nick Saban protige. Good thing Will Muschamp was taught by the same coach.

ESPN.com sports gaming writer David Purdum joined us this week to talk about the large line in the South Carolina-Georgia game, why the Gamecocks might see some late action and bets he likes this week.

How as the line moved this week?

It opened at 22.5 at the Wynn on Sunday night and it got all the way to 24.5 in a day and a half. The influential money has moved it up so there’s some influential early money on the Bulldogs.

How are the odds makers handling Georgia and Alabama in that they are blowing out a lot of people?

We are seeing some really historic lines in the SEC. Alabama is being favored by 30 points or more over several teams in the SEC. There just haven’t been many of those in history and now Georgia is kind of creeping up there. It’s difficult for (odds makers). How do they gauge how big a gap has been created between these top SEC teams, Alabama and Georgia, and then the rest of the league, which really has kind of fallen off? This is the biggest point spread on a Georgia-South Carolina game going back to at least 1997 and it’s not even really close. The next-closest one was 18.5 in 2005. This is not just a Georgia-South Carolina thing, this is an SEC thing where these top teams have really separated themselves.

How do the smart gamblers figure out when Alabama and Georgia become overvalued?

You are looking at your power rankings, and your power rankings are based specifically on the talent that these kids have. Some people focus on coaching. Some people will add on little things about recruiting in terms of depth. You are strictly looking at your power rankings now and your power rankings are saying Georgia is 24 points better. Now Georgia has beaten teams by plus-30 so it’s a tough spot for them. The talent and the metrics are saying 24 but you look at these scores with Georgia and you’re seeing 30-point victories. It is a tough thing, and you will often see the sharp guys with these big inflated lines, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some late money on South Carolina as these guys sit there and wait and wait and wait and see how much this line gets driven up and then take the other side. They are just looking at their metrics.

Give some bets you like this week:

Two things, I have been riding Central Florida. I don’t know if anybody has seen them play. They are obviously undefeated, they are rising up their rankings, Scott Frost is a hot coaching prospect, but when you watch them, they have big, fast, athletic dudes at receiver, at linebacker. They have NFL guys. They look very much like an SEC team. They are giving 14 at SMU this week. I see no reason where I am going to jump off their bandwagon at all. The second thing, Georgia is at 12-to-1 to win the national championship, out of the undefeated teams they arguably have the best win at Notre Dame. Getting a team that’s getting in the playoff at 12-to-1, there is great value in that. You’re getting some great value there.

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