What Vegas Thinks: USC a big favorite; early lines for Florida, Clemson games

Posted by JOSH KENDALL on November 1, 2013 

South Carolina Gamecocks running back Mike Davis (28) stiff arms a Missouri player as he breaks free during a run in the second half at Faurot Field in Columbia, MO.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Sports gambling industry journalist David Purdum joins us this week to talk about the fact that South Carolina is a big favorite against Mississippi State and why that’s even worse news for the Bulldogs than it seems at first.

The State: Mississippi State is not getting a ton of respect in this game right?

David Purdum: Yeah, it opened at 13.5 at the Wynn, which is the first Vegas sportsbook to go up. There has been a little action that has brought it down to 13, and that’s pretty much where it sits right now.

The State: Mississippi State has been pretty underwhelming even with low expectations, right?

David Purdum: You’re right on there. Under Dan Mullen, they are 3-8 against the spread as a double-digit underdog. They have only covered once in their last eight games as a double-digit underdog. When they have a talent deficiency, they have not been able to keep it close.

The State: Do bettors start to lean toward trends like that?

David Purdum: Trends are an interesting topic. A lot of people say it’s not relevant how they played as a 13-point underdog four years ago or whatever but my feeling is that line is an indication of the talent that the two teams have and the coaching, and when Mullen has had a significant disadvantage in talent like he does this week at South Carolina, his teams have failed to live up to the expectations. I believe those kinds of trends are relevant. You will get a lot of people who don’t, but trends are a very popular betting source for sure.

The State: As we look ahead on South Carolina’s schedule to Florida and Clemson, what are those lines like right now?

David Purdum: South Carolina is a 7.5 over Florida. It seems like a pretty big number, but Florida has lost two in a row going into their game against Georgia this week. Clemson at South Carolina, South Carolina is still a 3.5-point favorite.

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