Bookmaker's Corner: The 100-Year-Old Rivalry
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 10/13/2009
There's nothing like a 100-year-old college football rivalry to add even more fuel to the betting fire. I'm talking about the Red River Rivalry game between Texas and Oklahoma, an annual tussle that has been between these two teams since 1900 and is one of the great grudge matches in college football betting.
Some things, though, never (or rarely) change. The Texas Longhorns have won three of the last four games in Dallas and will be slight favorites to win again in 2009.
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I guarantee we'll be keeping a close eye on all the news before this game, particularly with regards to any information coming from Oklahoma's camp as to the health of Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford.
After sustaining a third-degree sprained shoulder in the Sooners' season-opening loss to BYU, Bradford returned to the field last week and completed 27 of 49 passes for 389 yards and a touchdown in Oklahoma's 33-7 victory over Baylor.
Over at Bodog Sportsbook we know that any information leaked to the press on matters like this will be acted pounced upon by bettors. We're certainly used to monitoring the action while bettors determine how much faith to put in a college quarterback that has injury concerns. Case in point - Tim Tebow's injury. The will-he-or-won't-he-play injury watch on this guy peaked last week before the Florida Gators beat LSU 13-3 at Tiger Stadium.
And speaking of which, Florida hosts Arkansas on Saturday in a game that even Tebow admits could trip up the Gators if they're not prepared.
Tebow was 11-of-16 passing for 134 yards and a touchdown and one interception against the Tigers, carrying the ball 17 times for 38 yards on the ground.
Keep an eye on Florida coach Urban Meyer to see if he'll say anything about how much he'll use Tebow against the Razorbacks, particularly if the Gators are leading big at halftime. If Tebow goes out, could a late Arkansas cover follow?
More behind-the-book news on the college football betting front saw some solid betting action on the Purdue- Minnesota game. The line opened Purdue +3.5 and early bettors took the dog down to +3. Not surprisingly, that's when people jumped on the favored Gophers, pushing the line back to 3.5. Hindsight being 20/20 - I'm thinking that we should have let bettors pound the dog, seeing as Minnesota won easily, 35-20.
The Georgia- Tennessee game opened +1.5 at Tennessee and closed at -1. The Bulldogs were beaten pretty badly by the Vols (45-19), but their loss was our gain.
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