In this weeks final regular season chat with gaming industry journalist David Purdum (@DavidPurdum on Twitter), we talk about the extreme movement in the South Carolina-Clemson line, Steve Spurriers impressive record against the spread versus Clemson, and, just for fun, the early lines on possible national championship game.
David, it seems like just a few weeks ago, South Carolina was a favorite in this game, and now the Gamecocks are an underdog.
On Oct. 22, I was looking back and the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperBook, thats the old Hilton in Vegas, they had South Carolina as a 1.5-point favorite. A month later, the Gamecocks are four-point underdogs.
Is that just an eyeball test issue, where Clemson has looked good lately and South Carolina has struggled in some wins?
I think so. Thats a pretty extreme adjustment, five points, but South Carolina struggled last week, didnt look well. Clemson has played well over the last few weeks, so it is definitely an eyeball adjustment there.
Last year, I feel like it was the same kind of feeling about these teams heading into this game, and South Carolina pushed Clemson around. How does Las Vegas judge a team that is playing just OK in one conference versus one that is looking really good in a weaker conference?
Vegas believes in the SEC. They think its the superior conference, which it is. What, its won the last six national championships, so is there that they add into it. The just believe the SEC has a better recruiting base, better talent going through it but thats a generalization really. Can you do that for every team? I will say that Spurrier is 5-2 against the spread at Clemson so that also plays into it. He has outcoached Bowden, outcoached Swinney. The Gamecocks have played better than the betting market has expected against Clemson.
To look outside the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry for a second, you tell me the national championship lines have been released. Is there anything surprising about that?
At the Las Vegas Wynn, Alabama was a 9-point favorite over Notre Dame and Georgia is a 1-point favorite over Notre Dame. Those are the only two matchups they listed. They are pretty confident that Notre Dame will beat USC and play the winner of the SEC championship game.
That Georgia line surprises me a little bit. The last time folks around here saw Georgia, it was in a four-touchdown loss to South Carolina.
Notre Dame is really not very highly power rated. They have struggled to move up the power ratings chart. I want to say Notre Dame is like sixth or seventh, maybe lower in the power ratings. They just started off low, and they have struggled to move on up.