I believe it is wiser to take the Arkansas +3 points, and I'm a Buckeye fan. I love my Bucks, and I will always be rooting for my alma mater...but I'm still realistic.
I have been living in Florida for damn near 10 years, have watched a ton of LSU/Florida/Auburn/ SC/Arkansas games, as well as Big 10 games. But the SEC has time and again outshined the SEC-Big-10 bowls of recent years. We've already heard about the 0-8 OSU vs SEC, and as well the 2007/08 BCS National champ outcomes, but let's talk about relevant facts now:
Fact 1) Arkansas' strength of schedule is #6th overall nationally, with their opponents' win percentage at 61.9%. They carry the SEC's most efficient Red-Zone offense, a huge 91% clip is either a touchdown or a field goal. By the way, against their last 10 opponents, they covered 9-1.
Fact 1a) With the #2 ranked best defense, Ohio State's SOS is 55th nationally (remember they played 3 cupcakes), where their opponents win percentage is only 50.8%. Not bad for Ohio State, but it just shows you how much more falsely-perceived an 11-1 record looks compared to Arkansas, who played 2 non-con teams. Quite so this pseudo-overrated factor of Ohio State comes into consideration each and every year by the human pollsters.
Fact 2) Petrino's Bowl record is 3-2 since he started at Louisville in 2003. The last one in the Liberty Bowl 2010, was won by 3 points, yet his Arkansas team was only 7-5 overall that season coming into the bowl.
Fact 2a) Tressel's Bowl record since starting at OSU is only 5-4. Of those 9, THREE were against SEC teams, all of them bad losses [South Carolina, Florida, & LSU].
Fact 3) In 2007, Ohio State had the #1 defense in the country, and LSU had the 3rd best. -4 LSU was the spread, and they covered 38-24.
Fact 4) In 2006, Ohio State had the #2 defense nationally, and I recall a large portion of the public was taking them against Florida. OSU -7.5 was the line. What was the result? A 41-14 smacking.
Fact 5) Ohio State played Oregon in 2009. Here OSU had the 5th best defense, whilst Oregon the 35th best nationally. OSU was +4 and covered 26-17.
Fact 6) In fact, Tressel's bowl record is 5-1 against NON-SEC conference opponents, with the only loss against Texas (-8.5 favorites).
Fact 7) The Public forgets to account for Arkansas' tried and true tougher schedule, their 3 quality wins against top 25 teams, and their overall #3 passing offense.
Remember that historically, Tressel is a conservative play caller who believes in "Tressell-ball:" just enough scoring, strong defense, and field position. Thus, against more speedy, explosive offenses (see BCS championships 06-07) it is, and has been costly to put money on this type of coaching style. Contrastingly, Bobby Petrino's more big-play, big-throw coaching allowed him to make the Louisville Cardinals top-ranked in Division I-A in scoring and total offense while at offensive coordinator (1998).
It seems that as when perceived as a dog in these bowls, Ohio State was only 2-1; as favorites, 0-1. It's inconclusive to go with trends here, but looking at the above facts, I think the -3 line is a misconceived lean due to the public's affection for Terrelle Pryor's individual abilities and ESPN's touting of the defense. But Terrelle is no Cam Newton, and his stats (even in the Big 10) aren't incredible to boot. It's in my best judgement here to go with the Razorbacks shoving Ohio State away with yet another loss against superior SEC talent.