Ohio State Minnesota Football Pick

159
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Ohio State

vs.

Minnesota

Big 10

College Football

Pick with Analysis

11/15/14

Ohio State made a huge statement last weekend, winning at Michigan State 49-37. Their offense clicked on all cylinders and carved through what many thought was one of the best defenses in the country. In the Buckeyes’ last true road Game of the season, they’ll be -12.5 point road favorites at Minnesota, at both 5 dimes and sportsbook.ag.

If the Buckeyes offense continues to look like they did at MSU, it will be tough to beat them again. They now have the inside route to the Big Ten championship Game with a favorable remaining Schedule. The loss to Virginia Tech is in the past when they looked like a completely different team. At this point, OSU has now covered in six of their last seven Games, with that non-cover coming in the surprising struggle at Penn State.

Minnesota, once again, is a surprise in the Conference and fighting for the top of the West. Unfortunately for them, they have to travel to Nebraska and Wisconsin after this Game. They are coming off a huge 51-14 win against Iowa, but had a surprising loss to Illinois before that. When faced with some of the nation’s best earlier in the year, TCU handled them 30-7.

These teams haven’t played since 2010, so there’s not much to take from previous matchups, considering the current situation.

Starting with Ohio State, J.T. Barrett has been a revelation for this team, and some people are even saying he’s better than Braxton Miller. While Barrett doesn’t provide the explosiveness like Miller, he’s a tougher runner, which actually tends to help against physical teams like Michigan State and Minnesota. In addition, Barrett is probably the better passer, which was on display against the Spartans. Barrett has completed at least 60% of his passes in seven straight Games to go with 26 TDs and 7 INTs. On the ground, he’s run for 582 yards and 8 TDs, which is in addition to Ezekiel Elliott’s 863 yards and 7 TDs. Barrett’s receivers came through last weekend and if they continue to do so, this will be a tough offense to stop.

To keep this Game competitive, the Minnesota defense will have to play tough, but more importantly, the offense has to score.

The problem for the Gophers is that their quarterback play is not great, and if they get down early, it will be tough for them to stick with their run-first Game plan. Mitch Leidner is improving at quarterback, sure, but Ohio State is a different level of competition. He threw for Four TDs last week on only 13 passes attempts, but was only 12-of-30 the previous week against Illinois. This offense goes through the run Game and David Cobb (1,205 yards, eight TDs). If the Buckeyes Scoreearly, that Game plan will be tough to follow.

The Buckeyes continue to improve their Conference trend of 55-26-2 ATS in their last 88 Big Ten Games, as they are now 6-1 ATS in their last seven overall. The Golden Gophers are a stout 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Conference Games and 7-2 ATS in their last nine vs. a team with a winning record. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in this matchup, and Ohio State is 6-1 ATS in the last seven Games between these schools played in Minnesota.

No question the Buckeyes have been the more explosive, consistent team and have played a Schedule that’s been a bit more difficult than the Gophers. Minnesota, with the exception of last weeks blowout of Iowa, has barely squeaked by some weaker opposition and lost straight up at Illinois, a team the Buckeyes beat 55-14.

But you also have to worry about a possible letdown if you’re considering Ohio State. Obviously, extra emphasis was put on the Michigan State revenge Game last week. Now the Buckeyes have to get up for a Minnesota team that’s traditionally been a whipping post for the upper echelon Big 10 teams for years.

The total here is 56.5 and that’s a number Ohio State has been able to reachon their own more than a couple of times this year. Doubt they’ll reach 56 in this one but don’t count Minnesota’s contribution out. We’ll go over here. OVER 56.5

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