Josh Kendall

Our gambling expert talks about the head-scratching South Carolina-Kentucky line

We are joined again this week by ESPN.com gambling writer David Purdum, who tries to help us make sense of a South Carolina-Kentucky line that didn’t seem to make a lot of sense most of the week. Most odds makers had the Wildcats as 1-point or 1.5-point favorites as of Thursday morning.

What happened with this line?

It opened at 1.5 with South Carolina the favorite at the Wynn, and when the other books came out later in the day they had Kentucky favored. I was surprised South Carolina was favored. Kentucky looked awfully impressive in their wins. I was a big fan of Mississippi State, thought they were really good, and Kentucky crushed them. Actually having South Carolina open as the favorite was a little bit surprising to me.

Why didn’t Las Vegas lean more heavily toward Kentucky?

They looked so impressive and then for South Carolina to open as the favorite at the Wynn was odd. Now, almost every other book had Kentucky as the favorite. If you made this line at the beginning of the season, you probably would have had South Carolina as a 3-point or 3.5-point favorite on the road so I think this week’s line shows an adjustment in the power ratings. Oftentimes we want to over adjust and these people are more conservative when they adjust.

Where’s the public money going?

I would assume there has been even action. There were probably some early bets on Kentucky and that probably influenced the rest of the market. If I was to guess how many bets are on each team I would say there are probably are a few more on Kentucky.

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