Sugar Bowl Betting Preview: Arkansas vs. Ohio State

Sugar Bowl logoTuesday’s Sugar Bowl will feature a matchup of high profile quarterbacks as Ryan Mallett and Arkansas take on Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The No. 6 Buckeyes were 11-1 (9-2-1 ATS) this season with their only loss coming to Wisconsin. No. 8 Arkansas finished 10-2 (9-2 ATS) this season with their losses coming against Alabama and Auburn.

Oddsmakers at have Ohio State listed as a 3-point favorite for Tuesday’s matchup, with the total listed at 56.5 points. On the moneyline, the Buckeyes are -150 and the Razorbacks are +130.

The Buckeyes are playing in a BCS bowl for the sixth straight season. Ohio State will try and save face for the Big Ten on Tuesday as the conference was humiliated on New Year’s Day losing five of five games.

The Buckeyes have had a tough month with five players being suspended for the first five games next season for NCAA violations. Those suspensions were punishment for selling awards, gifts and university apparel and receiving other benefits.

The players, which included Pryor, were cleared to play in this game but many believe they should have been suspended for this game as well.

The Buckeyes would have been in serious trouble in this game without those players, and although the NCAA wouldn’t admit as much, it didn’t want to ruin the Sugar Bowl.

Pryor is the leader of an Ohio State offense that averaged just about 450 yards per game. Pryor threw for 2,551 yards and 25 TDs and rushed for 639 yards and four TDs while running back Dan Herron ran or 1,068 yards and 15 TDs. Ohio State also had a solid defense – the Buckeyes were third in the country, allowing just 13.3 points per game.

Arkansas is much more one-dimensional than Ohio State. The Razorbacks averaged 489.2 yards of total offense, with 338.4 of those coming through the air. Mallett threw for 3,592 yards and 30 TDs. Arkansas can run the ball though as Knile Davis ran for 1,183 yards and 13 TDs.

The Razorbacks defense was not as sharp as Ohio State’s – they allowed 22.8 points per game.

Here are some key college football betting stats for Tuesday’s game:

The Razorbacks are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall. The Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as an underdog. The Razorbacks are 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games.

The Buckeyes are 8-0 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. The Buckeyes are 6-2 ATS in their last eight bowl games. The Buckeyes are 43-17-1 ATS in their last 61 games as a favorite.

The over is 6-1 in the Razorbacks’ last seven games overall. The over is 4-0 in the Buckeyes’ last four non-conference games.

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