Rivalry weekend in the NCAA serves up some of the best matchups of the year and some strong betting opportunities. Let’s take a look at a couple of the big games and look at a couple of picks.
LSU vs. Arkansas
While they won’t play for a national championship, a win over #12-ranked Arkansas puts Les Miles and LSU in a great spot for a BCS bowl game...and a loss means they can wave bye bye to the BCS. This big SEC battle on Saturday has already grabbed a lot of attention from bettors during the week, but by kick-off, it will be one of the most wagered on college games of the weekend.
In speaking with Brian Taylor, manager at Sportsbetting.com, he stated that "LSU is currently an underdog of more than a field goal at +3.5, but we’re starting to see more action come in on them. As of Friday evening, we have 54% of all the action on this game on the Tigers".
Sportsbooks have the total set at 54.5 and so far, in speaking with several sportsbook managers, it appears have yet to really make up their mind on what to do with it. Most are reporting pretty balanced early action, with an overall small lean to the high side.
This is going to be a very difficult challenge for LSU, as they play away from home vs. a Top 12 team that has some star power and big motivation. The Razorbacks are looking for a double-digit winning season, as they sit at 9-2 heading in.
But we like the dog in this one. We think getting more than a field goal, this Tiger team has a great shot at the straight up win and feel they have a few matchup advantages that will be key.
Pick: We’re taking LSU +3.5.
Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma
Bedlam is will be in this one. Known as the "Bedlam" series, these two big time rivals make acquaintance in a familiar...and not so familiar way in 2010. Familiar as Oklahoma State and Oklahoma have clashed in their season finales none of the last 11 seasons. Unfamiliar because this year the Cowboys from Oklahoma State have something more to play for than just bragging rights and respect.
While the Sooners are used to having a conference title already in the bag or about to be won (which is true this year), that’s usually not the case for Oklahoma State. But it is this year, as the Cowboys have a share of the Big 12 South title at the very least, and with a victory on Saturday will move on to the Conference Championship game.
Sportsbook currently have this line set at -2.5 for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State are a high-scoring team (ranked third in the country) and the Sooners can rack up the points as well, so we have a high Total on this one of 67
Note that the Cowboys are an impressive 9-2 against the spread this year, while the Sooners are a pedestrian 6-5 ATS.
Early betting action, according to sportsbooks, has about 60% of the action on the Cowboys compared to 40% on the Sooners.
We like the small favourite in this one. The Cowboys have been beat up for a long time by the Sooners, but the talent-gap has closed and now Oklahoma State is in a great position to finally step up and beat the bully on the block.
Pick: Our play is on the Cowboys.