In this weeks chat with gaming industry journalist David Purdum (@DavidPurdum on Twitter), we talk about why South Carolina is a big favorite against Missouri, why D.J. Swearingers suspension doesnt affect the betting line much and why Alabama is about to cause a big problem for Las Vegas oddsmakers.
This will be most South Carolina fans first chance to see Missouri as a real rival. How does Las Vegas view the Tigers as they enter the SEC?
The SEC, there is a bias. They are the best conference. So when somebody comes in from the Big 12, there is obviously an adjustment period for books to say, OK, are the kind of athletes that Missouri is recruiting and getting to come in, can they compete and to what level in the SEC? Its hard for bookmakers to judge, too, but they are always going to favor the SEC because that is what the betting market is going to favor, too. They are always going to get more bets on the SEC.
The line on this game is around nine points? That feels a little high to me given that South Carolina is a bit of an unproven commodity.
Thats surprising to me (that youd say that). What have they given up, how many points the last couple weeks? Hardly any. They are just kind of wearing people out in the second half. They have a dominating second half scoring advantage. From a book makers perspective, 10 points, two scores, they dont know about (Missouri quarterbacks James) Franklins status. The Las Vegas Wynn, which is the first sports book to put out college football lines each week, I think the Wynn did 11 and it came back down to 10. So thats a pretty consistent number. Itll be interesting to see if that number moves off 10. Everyone will be watching (South Carolina quarterback Connor) Shaw, watching Franklin. And the Swearinger suspension of course.
You said you dont believe D.J. Swearingers suspension will move the line much. Why is that?
Very rarely does a defensive player (move a line), some people talk about the Honey Badger at LSU, but how many people know D.J. Swearinger outside of South Carolina. Its just not a big enough name or impactful player. There are just so very, very few defensive players that will ever affect the line. Quarterback, yes, running back, maybe, wide receiver, yes. It just doesnt affect it as much on defense.
This is not a huge SEC weekend except for whats going on in Columbia, but I found it interesting that Alabama is favored by only 51 against Florida Atlantic after just beating Arkansas by 52.
It is a lot of points, but how do you bet against Alabama right now?
Exactly. I almost felt bad for the bookmakers in the Alabama-Arkansas game because how do you set that line?
It was a huge loss for the Las Vegas Wynn. I was talking to John Avello, who is the sportsbook director there, and he said I set that line early at 13 thinking that maybe Wilson plays, and everybody else comes out at 20 or 21 so we jump up there, but we couldnt stop the money from coming in. It was like 90 percent on Alabama, so do you make it 30 in the SEC rivalry game on the road like that? They are in a difficult situation.
Will Alabama pose a problem for Las Vegas if they continue this roll?
Definitely, thats not good. They dont want an Alabama or a Florida or an Oklahoma, a big public team to go on a run like that. You cannot make the spread high enough right now, and if they were to post a ridiculous number against LSU and make them a 14-point favorite or something, they would put themselves at so much risk because the sharp money knows thats not what the power rating says, and they would get back in on the other side of it, but what would the public bet.