It’s been a rough start to the Conference season for Minnesota and it’s about to get more difficult with Ohio State on the Schedule. The Buckeyes have a favorable Schedule without a ranked opponent until hosting Michigan in the final Game of the regular season. For this one, the Bucks were heavy -29.5 point home favorites with an over/under of 59.5 on Tuesday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The Golden Gophers got out to a nice start with three wins, but were then trampled by Maryland and gave up 48 points to a mediocre Iowa offense last weekend. This one could go the same way given that the Buckeyes are scoring 49 points per Game and there’s no chance Minnesota will be able to keep up. The only way to cover for the Gophers would be to score, similar to Indiana last week, but that’s not a given, especially since this offense managed only 13 points in its lone road Game at Maryland.
There’s not much to like about the Gophers offense. since top running back Rodney Smith went down with a knee injury, Bryce Williams and Mohamed Ibrahim have gotten most of the work and neither has been too exciting. In total, the Gophers are averaging 3.5 yards per carry, which won’t cut it against the OSU defensive front. To reach 20 points, freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad will have to sling it out and while he’s tried that in recent losses, it’s resulted in five interceptions. While the Buckeyes defense hasn’t been that good overall allowing a mediocre 365 yards per Game, it’s a wonder how Minnesota will move the ball. That being the question, it’s hard to see many people throwing money down on the road team.
And while Minnesota’s defense has positive numbers, a lot of that was from the non-Conference Schedule as it’s allowed 90 points in the last two Games. It’s almost not even a question that the Buckeyes will drop at least 40 points in this matchup. Dwayne Haskins has been untouchable against weaker teams and already has 25 touchdowns on 71.7% completion and 9.69 yards per attempt. After six touchdowns against Indiana, there’s a decent chance he could be at 30 passing touchdowns after seven Games. The interesting thing about the offense is that J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber aren’t having amazing success as they’re only averaging 4.7 yards per carry as a team, a smaller rate for an elite offense. Of course, that probably won’t matter in this Game considering Nate Stanley threw Four touchdowns against this defense last week.
Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country and that’s too much for a team like Minnesota, simply hoping to make a bowl Game. The last two Games between these teams has been fairly close, but those came back in 2014 and 2015. The Golden Gophers are 10-3-3 ATS in their last 16 following an ATS loss, but 1-5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last five home Games.
Our Pick – Minnesota +29.5