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NCAAF Oklahoma at Ohio State Vegas Odds and Best Pick

Oklahoma Sooners((1-0)) @ Ohio State Buckeyes((1-0))

  • Where: Ohio Stadium. Columbus, OH
  • When: September 9, 2017 7:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Oklahoma (+7.5) at Ohio State (-7.5)
  • Moneyline: Oklahoma (+250) at Ohio State (-300)
  • Over / Under: Over 65 (-105) vs Under 65 (-115)

Just because a game is seeing a lot of action doesn’t mean there’s a wise bet in the offing.

Conference ranking has a lot to do with the odds for Saturday night’s Oklahoma at Ohio State match-up. The Sooners, dominant in the woebegone Big 12, are 3/1 underdogs to the powerful Buckeyes of the Big Ten. That seems to open up some value potential in taking OU on the money line. But what if 2017 is poised to be another year of Big Ten and ACC dominance over the south and Midwest?

The point spread is also tempting, considering that the line is set at above a touchdown. But we all know that when J.T. Barrett and the Scarlet & Gray wear down an opponent by the 4th quarter, extra touchdowns fall like leaves.

Finally, there’s the O/U. 65 points seems like nothing for two of the finest offenses in college football. Ohio State, however, played shut-down defense in the 2nd half against Indiana…and Oklahoma gave up only one score in their season opener.

Let’s take a look at all three possible wagers, if you should take them – and at which sideline is poised to bring home the winner on each.

OU vs OSU – The money line

The best news to come out of Oklahoma’s season-opening beat-down of UTEP (56 to 7) was not that the defense had a good outing, or that the OL blocked efficiently (despite not having a star RB getting the ball behind it). It was that Baker Mayfield appears free of distractions after a tumultuous off-season.

Mayfield was an amazing 19-of-20 passing in the contest, setting a new standard for accuracy at a program already known for scoring points.

Can the Okies throw the ball around the field on OSU? Talented junior TE Mark Andrews will help, along with a host of above-average WRs. But the pocket must be protected. The Buckeyes collected five sacks against the Hoosiers on the latter’s home field, senior lineman Tyquan Lewis accounting for two of them.

To sum up, Ohio State has the tools to potentially defend the visiting offense, but Oklahoma may have more of a puncher’s chance than the odds are giving them.

Over/Under for Oklahoma at Ohio State

As usual, the fate of the Buckeyes will rest on J.T. Barrett’s ability to operate Urban Meyer’s complex playbook and find passing and running lanes. Oklahoma isn’t that much better at LB than Indiana, but the Sooners have a great young defensive backfield that is salivating over the chance to read Barrett on 3rd and long.

To avoid that scenario, Meyer will make full use of his starting O-backfield in a ball-control attack. OSU’s backup running backs are as good or better than their counterparts on Saturday – for instance, Mike Weber is dealing with a hamstring issue, but the Buckeyes brought in freshman J.K. Dobbins against Indiana to rush for a cool 180+ yards.

That opens up a value bet on the under, as OSU drives will be time-consuming.

ATS Betting on OU at OSU

Analyzing this potential wager is easy, mathematically speaking – wagering on Oklahoma offers either a straight-up point spread payoff or 3-to-1 on the money line. So, we must evaluate whether the Big 12 program’s chances increase by such a wide margin when spotted eight points.

Not likely. If the past few seasons of NCAA football have taught us anything, it’s that when a team forges some type of advantage by the 2nd half, the game is not going to come down to the wire. This scrum will probably either turn out as a big win for Ohio State, or a nail-biter that comes down to the final minutes. If it’s an anxious result, the payoff on a SU money line bet on the underdog out-weighs the safety of the spotted points.

Look under the surface

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The under (65) is the best cash play available. Urban Meyer is likely to take advantage of Oklahoma’s relatively benign front-7 by controlling the ball with runs, and allowing Barrett to throw only safe passes when possible. That will keep the clock running more often, and should probably result in under 60 points scored.

But for would-be-boosters looking to get on a bandwagon, try one or two units on the ML for OU. If Mayfield gets hot throwing and someone in the Okie offensive backfield steps up, this could come down to the wire – and Oklahoma pays off handsomely with a straight-up win.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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