Las Vegas Bowl Preview and Pick: Oregon State Beavers vs. BYU Cougars – Point Spread – Betting Odds

No. 18 Oregon State Beavers (8-4) 7-4 ATS, 5-6 O/U versus No. 14 BYU Cougars (10-2) 6-6 ATS, 7-5 O/U Tuesday December 22, 2009 8:00 p.m. EST Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada- Las Vegas Bowl 2009
By Wilson of

Point Spread: Oregon State -2/BYU +2
Over/Under: 60.5

BYU is no stranger to the Las Vegas Bowl as this will be their fifth consecutive trip to the Vegas bowl game. The Cougars are 2-2 against the Pac-10 in the past four Las Vegas Bowls but this will be the first post season meeting between these two squads. The teams have met eight times during regular season play throughout the past decade with Oregon State leading the series 5-3.

The Oregon State Beavers were just one win away from going to Pasadena, California to play in the Rose Bowl but the Oregon Ducks put a stop to their chase for the roses last Thursday night in Eugene. The Beavers lost to the Ducks in the annual Civil War Game between the two Pac-10 rivals. The Beavers nearly overcame a 45 year Rose Bowl drought. However, OSU will look forward to playing a tough, 14th ranked BYU team.

The big story for the BYU Cougars has been the play of QB Max Hall. Hall has 30 touchdown passes on the season. He is a solid competitor who isnt afraid to take risk if it helps his team win. Halls experience in bowl games will also help raise his game day confidence. Off the field, Hall has drawn quite the following albeit negative after he admitted that he hated everything about the Utah Utes. BYU beat the Utes 26-23 last week, but Hall declared his thoughts afterwards claiming that Utes fans had thrown beer and trash at his family members in previous matchups. He is being criticized because of his harsh comments, and it may or may not play a role in his psyche leading up to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Meanwhile, the Oregon State Beavers lurk in the distance, waiting for a chance to end the season on a positive note. Although they fell short of Pasadena, they dont mind spending a few days in Vegas. The Beavers will be a handful for the Cougars defense especially with Sean Canfield at QB and the Rodgers Brothers spraying out all over the field. James Rodgers is the deep receiving threat but he is dangerous anywhere, and his brother Jacquizz is nearly impossible to tackle one on one.

The Beavers are averaging 32 points per game and BYU is scoring 34 per outing. OSU allows 23 ppg while the Cougars give up 21. Both teams matchup well on paper, which should make for a decent bowl game.

The QB matchup might be a classic as Canfield and Hall have 51 touchdown passes between the two of them. Hall accounts for 30 and Canfield has 21. Both QBs are leaders and have the ability to make plays. Hall has 14 interceptions to Canfields 6 on the season. Canfield has a completion rate of 70 percent to Halls 67 percent.

The line on this game opened at Oregon State -1 with a total of 60. Most offshore casinos have the Beavers at -2.5 with a total of 60.5. The Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbook is showing OSU -2.5 with a total of 60.5.

They should change the name of this bowl game to the BYU Bowl, but it will be the Beavers who nip at the Cougars in this game. OSU has too many weapons especially with the constant threat of the Rodgers brothers. Jacquizz will rise for the occasion and rush all over the Cougars. Hall will keep it close but it will be the Beavers who hit the bowl jackpot in Vegas.

Wilsons Pick: Oregon State 45, BYU 31. Luck to ya.