ESPN’s gambling writer David Purdum joined us again this week to talk about what Las Vegas odds makers think of the matchup between No. 24 South Carolina and No. 3 Georgia on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. We also talked about Will Muschamp’s record against the spread, what to do if you really think the Gamecocks are going to upset the Bulldogs, and the Clemson-Texas A&M game, where money is coming in on the Aggies. He also dropped this nugget on us: In the 88 bettable games in Vegas so far this year, 44 favorites have covered and 44 underdogs have covered. “Good bookmaking,” Purdum said.
What’s the line movement been like for South Carolina’s game?
It opened at 10 at the Wynn and got bet down pretty quickly and a lot of other books opened it up at 9.5, but it’s back up to 10 everywhere I see right now. A lot of it just the market settling. There were varying opening numbers and that half point is key, so I would think you’re seeing some two-way action right now (meaning money coming in on both sides). The books are trying to settle right now. The opening line at the Wynn moved 20 minutes after they opened it and then it moved back up to 10 Tuesday about 12:20. There’s some interest in that game.
Gamecocks fans can take heart that Will Muschamp teams perform pretty well as underdogs, right?
He is 9-5-1 against the spread as an underdog, and he’s 10-4-2 against the spread in conference play at South Carolina. That is pretty good. It’s not that he wins all those games, but he covers so that’s a positive trend.
What’s the smart bet for a South Carolina fan who believes the Gamecocks will pull off the upset?
They should be the futures market. If there is an upset, there will be a slight uptick in South Carolina’s power rankings, and the general betting public is probably going to overreact to that. You will probably see them move their futures to win the SEC especially because they would be in the driver’s seat in the SEC East if they won. That will be where you will see the biggest impact on their odds is in that futures market to win the SEC. They’re 40-to-1 to win the conference now. I would think you would cut them at least to 20-to-1, maybe 15-to-1 if they won. If you could get a ticket of 40-to-1 you could get ahead of that number.
Any interesting movement on the Clemson-Texas A&M line?
That one has really moved a lot. It opened as high as Clemson as a 14-point favorite, and it moved down to 12.5 and I’ve ever seen it at 12 some places. That’s a decent sized move. There is definitely some interest in the Aggies as the home underdogs. Texas A&M playing at Kyle Field there is always that lore that have.