Josh Kendall

The reason behind the major betting move for USC-Vandy game

Will Muschamp will be coaching his first game as South Carolina’s head coach against Vanderbilt on Sept. 1.
Will Muschamp will be coaching his first game as South Carolina’s head coach against Vanderbilt on Sept. 1. gmelendez@thestate.com

Major movements in betting lines are unusual in college football, especially in the offseason. That’s why the 6.5-point swing in the line for the Sept. 1 South Carolina-Vanderbilt game piqued so much curiosity.

The Gamecocks under first-year head coach Will Muschamp opened as 4-point favorites over the Commodores at the South Point casino in Las Vegas, the first sports book in Nevada to post lines on college football games. One week later, the Commodores were a 2.5-point favorite.

Why the dramatic change? A simple market correction, said the man who set the line.

“I talked to the bookmaker out there, and he said basically: ‘I just think I blew the line’,” said sports gaming writer David Purdum of ESPN Chalk. “People think Vanderbilt is going to be improved. South Carolina, nobody knows what’s going to happen. He said, ‘I just blew it.’ It’s not that unusual early in the season to have a big line move. I think right now it’s closer to the right number.”

The Gamecocks game against Vanderbilt is the only South Carolina game available for betting at the moment.

“The limits on those bets were $1,000. You can probably figure to make that kind of line move you probably saw four or five limit bets all on Vanderbilt,” Purdum said.

In recent years, the South Carolina-Clemson game always got a summer line, and the fact that it doesn’t have one this year is an indication of question marks about the Gamecocks, Purdum said.

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