When the early college football lines were released this summer, South Carolina was a 4-point favorite over Vanderbilt.
That only lasted about a week.
The betting public quickly jumped on the Commodores, and the line was moved to Vanderbilt minus-3. It’s basically held steady there since the summer. Now that game week is here, we talked to David Purdum of ESPN Chalk to see exactly where the line stands, the Gamecocks’ SEC title odds and why we might yet see more movement in this line.
The State: Where does the line for Thursday night’s game stand now?
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Purdum: Vandy is right around a 3-, 4-point favorite. It was a huge flip to start the season. Those early season lines moves, those lines are put out in May as kind of a promotional thing. They don’t take really big limits. When the guy at the South Point Casino opened it at South Carolina minus-4, he moved those really quickly. It didn’t take a whole lot of big money to move that so quickly early in the season like that. This week, it would take a little bit more sophisticated, larger money to move it.
The State: Based on the SEC title odds, it doesn’t seem like the odds makers are very high on the Gamecocks this year.
Purdum: They are not. South Carolina is 200-to-1 just to win the SEC. Only Rutgers and Purdue have worse conference title odds. So, if you’re now the Rutgers or Purdue of the SEC, that’s not good.
The State: How much overall action has this game drawn given that it’s one of the first games in college football but also maybe overshadowed by a huge weekend of games?
Purdum: Leading up to this week it’s still pretty small. The most heavily bet game at the Westgate Superbook is Tennessee’s game against Appalachian State. They had a big house player place what they called a “decent-sized wager” – that usually means in the five figure range – on Tennessee. That kind of skews everything else because it was so much bigger than all the other action so far. But this is a huge weekend, and I think South Carolina-Vanderbilt will be bet heavily. It’s a nationally televised game on Thursday night. I would be surprised if it’s not one of the most heavily bet games. We could see some line movement because of that.
The State: How late in the week could we see that line movement happening? Thursday?
Purdum: Oh yeah. The books will raise their limits here in the coming days. They will let people know and the bigger money will start to come in Tuesday, Wednesday maybe. We may see some movement as well leading up to kickoff. Ninety percent of the money is bet within the three hours leading up to games.