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Ohio State at Nebraska – NCAAF Odds and Upset-Special Pick

Ohio State Buckeyes(5-1) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-3)

  • Where: Memorial Stadium. Lincoln, NE
  • When: October 14, 2017 7:30 pm EST
  • Spread: OSU (-24) at Nebraska (+24)
  • Moneyline: OSU (-2400) at Nebraska (+1400)
  • Over / Under: Over 56.5 (-105) vs Under 56.5 (-115)

To an experienced handicapper, sometimes the odds just “feel” wrong.

As the Ohio State Buckeyes prepare to visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers this weekend, the consensus of Big Ten pundits has it that Urban Meyer’s squad has regained its poise following an unexpected loss to Oklahoma in Week 2.

Nebraska lost to Wisconsin, a team athletically comparable to the Buckeyes, by 3 touchdowns in Week 6. And Meyer’s teams are excellent on the road. There’s no immediate logic available to predict anything but more tough sledding for the ‘Huskers this time.

But the lines seem too generous. The point spread is almost at (25) points and climbing, and the money line is almost astronomical for a conference game between 2 traditional powers. Bettors could spend a couple grand wagering on Ohio State to win SU and not receive so much as a Benjamin in return should the favorites prevail.

Even the Over/Under seems a little skewed. Nebraska and their opponents have not reached the current point total since NU vs Oregon in Week 2.

That cupcake is a little salty

The OSU offense has been dynamite at times following the OU loss, though it took them a few weeks to really get back on track. The Buckeyes’ attack was halted in the 2nd quarter of a Week 3 game against badly-outgunned Army. Meyer knows the secret to scoring on a service academy is to find something that works and keep it up, so OSU ran the ball and threw short to overcome the hiccups in an eventual 38-7 win, frosh RB J.K. Dobbins rushing for 170 yards and 2 TDs.

By October, the Bucks were rocking and rolling, cranking out 600+ yards in a 56-0 demolition of Rutgers and 5 rushing TDs by 5 different rushers against Maryland.

Rutgers and Maryland, however, are not on the level a Cornhusker program which has been rough around the edges but still competitive on a big-time level. Remember, the last time the Buckeyes faced an offensive line as burly as Nebraska’s, they lost. It doesn’t mean it will happen again this Saturday, but it does mean the “cupcake” underdog’s odds don’t make sense.

The Huskers can run (and presumably husk)

Can that NU offensive line produce a consistent running game? Meyer and his do-it-all QB J.T. Barrett will eventually figure out how to move the egg on any opponent. The only hope for an upset is to control and protect the football, limiting possessions in the game.

The ‘Huskers are averaging 4.2 yards per carry, but that’s a deceptive number for a running game which has been effective. Nebraska’s trio of top rushers, Divine Ozigbo, Mikale Wilbon and talented sophomore Tre Bryant, are all averaging around 5 yards per carry or better – a healthy 5.9 in Bryant’s case.

We feel that the Nebraska ground game will be crucial in the success of a bet on the over. Doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? If a team runs the ball successfully and more often, then that should lead to less points being scored than in a QB duel, right?

Yes, usually. But QB Tanner Lee is having more of a “Stagger Lee” season for the Cornhuskers so far, throwing 10 interceptions (to 11 touchdowns) and only completing 54% of his throws. If the running game can help buoy Lee, he could have a surprisingly productive day against Ohio State. If not, then the junior simply has no chance against an eagle-eyed Buckeye secondary.

Bet Recommendation for Ohio State at Nebraska

Wager on our upset-special pick Nebraska ATS or SU on the money line, and enjoy a 50% sign-up bonus!

We’re picking the Cornhuskers as a juicy long-shot pick to win straight-up. Yes, Ohio State should be the prohibitive favorite, and they are. 8 or 9 times out of 10, Ohio State wins this one. But not 14 out of 15 times – and not always by 4 touchdowns – as odds-makers seem to believe.

A money line bet on the underdog may not succeed…but it won’t cost much of your stake to take a shot at a 4-figure payoff. If you’re feeling conservative, take Nebraska against the spread instead.

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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