Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher says he believes that Winston did not receive money for the autographs, but the speculation was enough to force sports books to be cautious with the point spread on Saturday's marquee game (8 p.m. ET, ABC). The Seminoles were 10.5-point favorites over Notre Dame at the Westgate SuperBook before the game was taken off the board.
"It doesn't make sense to keep it up right now," said Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports at the Westgate SuperBook. "You're only going to drive one-way action [to Notre Dame], so we're taking the cautious approach and see what happens."
Last week, when Gurley was suspended before Georgia's game against Missouri, sports books didn't take the game down and barely adjusted the point spread. Georgia was a 3-point favorite before Gurley was ruled out. The line moved only slightly or not at all at some shops.
But Winston is worth a lot more to the spread, Kornegay said.
When Winston was suspended for the Clemson game, sports books adjusted the point spread around seven points. Backup quarterback Sean Maguire struggled but rallied the Seminoles to an overtime win against the Tigers.
If Winston is ruled out this week, Kornegay thinks that Florida State may be only a 3- or 3.5-point favorite over the Irish.
Early betting action on the Notre Dame-Florida State game had been light Monday, with no significant wagers being placed at the Westgate or the MGM sports books.
The MGM and William Hill sports books also had the game off the board Tuesday.
"We had it up yesterday," MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood said. "We'll wait and see now."