Bookmaker's Corner: SEC Championship and Civil War Betting
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 12/1/2009
This Thursday the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers meet at Autzen Stadium for a trip to the Rose Bowl. Also known as the Civil War, this rivalry dates back to 1894 and even though it's been played 112 times, there has never been more on the line. As far as college football betting goes, over at Bodog's online sportsbook we expect this to be our largest handle ever for a Civil War.
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Bodog's college football odds have the Ducks by 10, and we'll probably be cheering against them once kickoff arrives. Oregon's by far the highest profile of the two sides and won last year's Civil War by a score of 65-38. The Ducks have beaten a number of very good teams at home this season, including Utah, Cal, and most famously, USC.
The Beavers, who come into the game winners of four straight, including an impressive 31-14 decision at Cal, have only lost three times this season. Those losses were to three good teams in Cincinnati, Arizona and USC, and all three games were decided by 10 points or less. It should also be pointed out that the Beavers won the last time they visited Autzen Stadium, in 2007.
The most interesting betting number for this matchup between the Ducks and the Beavers might be the total, which opened between 61 and 62 at most books; the last time these two teams met they put over 100 points on the board.
Undoubtedly, this Civil War is going to deliver a mighty big bang for bettors, but in terms of handle Saturday's SEC Championship between Florida and Alabama will be bigger for the book. For starters, you've arguably got the top two teams in the nation, as well as two of the top coaches (Urban Meyer and Nick Saban) and two of the top players (Tim Tebow and Mark Ingram).
We like the Gators by 4.5 and expect heavy action on both sides of the ledger.
The Big 12 championship between Texas and Nebraska will be another big game in a weekend already filled with big games. With the BCS National Championship Game on the line, motivation shouldn't be a problem for the Longhorns (-14).
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