College Football Pick
Everyone has spent most of the season downgrading Nebraska’s wins, but maybe Ohio State should be in those same conversations. The Buckeyes haven’t looked dominant for the last month and are coming off another close win. But with all that said, they are still getting a lot of love and were up to -17 point home favorites early in the week.
The Bucks were seemingly way too big of favorites last week against Northwestern and that Game finished 24-20. For some reason, the line seems a bit too big once again. After covering in their first Four Games of the year, OSU hasn’t covered in its last Four yet are still getting the same respect as earlier in the season.
On the other end, Nebraska hasn’t been getting any respect, even after putting in a solid performance at Wisconsin over the weekend. While that ended in defeat in overtime, the Cornhuskers covered and proved they could compete with good teams. That’s why they’re still ranked as the No. 9 team in the country. In fact, they’ve been fairly impressive in all of their road Games this year, winning at Northwestern and Indiana, both of which can’t be overlooked with that Wisconsin Game.
These teams haven’t met since 2012, so there isn’t much to take away from previous results.
Starting with the Ohio State offense, they’ve really fallen off since the competition has increased. Once in the conversation for the Heisman, J.T. Barrett has passed for just three touchdowns and two interceptions in the last Four Games, while never throwing for more than 245 yards. Those Heisman talks are all but gone after that hot start. But all of that can’t be put on Barrett. The offensive line is a step below last year’s group and that has showed itself as Big Ten play has continued.
And even against a mediocre defense such as Northwestern’s, Barrett didn’t even have a rushing touchdown. Along with that, running back Mike Weber’s numbers are down and Curtis Samuel hasn’t been as effective in his role.
While Nebraska may still be considered overrated, this defense is no slouch. The Huskers have kept most opponents in check this season with Oregon the only one putting more than 23 points on them.
The problem for Nebraska is that its offense is nothing special. They haven’t blown anyone out because Tommy Armstrong Jr. has shown zero consistency or improvement throughout most of his career. They battled at Wisconsin, but with Armstrong completing 12-of-31 passes for 153 yards, they just didn’t have enough.
Ohio State will provide a similarly tough test with its defense, but just like Northwestern, this Nebraska offense should find a few holes to put points on the board. Whether that’s Armstrong running the ball or running back Terrell Newby or Devine Ozigbo, they have options.
The Buckeyes are a good team, but have struggled in recent Games and giving this many points to Nebraska is an interesting choice.
The Cornhuskers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 road Games and 4-0-1 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record. The Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Games following an ATS loss and again haven’t covered in their last Four. The under has hit in six straight for Nebraska and is 9-2 in Ohio State’s last 11 Conference Games.
Our Pick – After blowing through an easy early season Schedule, the Buckeyes have found themselves in some tight Games the last 3 times out. 17 seems too many to be giving a 7-1 Nebraska team. Nebraska +17