Ohio State vs. Indiana ATS Picks
By Andrew Ryan
The Ohio State Buckeyes are starting to get to the status of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Sure, Nick Saban’s dynasty isn’t set to be tarnished any time in the near future, but Urban Meyer has put together a program that doesn’t know how to rebuild; the Buckeyes merely reload with highly-touted recruits every single season. That’s bad news for the Indiana Hoosiers in the opening Big Ten battle of the 2017 season.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Date and Time: Thursday, August 31, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
Opening College Football Odds: Ohio State -21
Ohio State vs. Indiana TV Coverage: ESPN
When the Buckeyes crashed the College Football Playoff last season as the first ever non-conference winner in the “Final Four,” they arguably arrived a year ahead of schedule. After all, quarterback J.T. Barrett is only just now a senior, and the mass majority of a defense that allowed just 300.2 yards and 15.5 points per game returns.
Mike Weber and Barrett combined to account for 42 touchdowns last season, and they rushed for very nearly 2,000 yards between them. Better will be expected this year, especially with Curtis Samuel now in the NFL.
Sure there are some question marks at wide receiver, but Meyer has never been short of options on the outside on a year in, year out basis, even when things seemed limited.
After years of sitting on a very hot seat, Kevin Wilson finally got the axe last season from Indiana.
The cupboard isn’t nearly bare for Wilson’s replacement, Tom Allen. He’ll be getting back nine starters on the defensive side of the ball.
That said, offense is going to be a big question mark. Richard Lagow is no slam dunk to keep this job this year. He’s a statue in the pocket at times, holds onto the ball far too long and makes questionable decisions. Lagow only went 14-of-28 for 182 yards last year when these teams met. He only threw one interception, but after tossing 17 for the season a campaign ago, it wouldn’t be hard to envision him getting picked off two or three times in this one.
Betting Trends of Note
The Buckeyes have a history of coming out and slaughtering teams like this one in September. Sure, a conference game isn’t what’s normally on tap in Week 1, but OSU is making an exception this year for sure.
The Bucks are 4-1 ATS in openers under Meyer, and most of the games haven’t been anywhere near close. Included in this mix are a 56-10 win over Miami (OH) and most recently, a 77-10 ripping of Bowling Green. The Buckeyes started the year at 4-0 SU and ATS last season before “only” beating this Indiana team by 21 at the Horseshoe against a 28-point spread.
Indiana wasn’t a bad team in the Big Ten last season, though it should be noted that it only covered one of its last four games as an underdog in conference play.
Still, the Hoosiers didn’t lose a single game last year by more than the three TDs Ohio State beat them by, and as we now know, they covered that spread. Indiana’s last loss at home by a margin anywhere near this big? A 56-17 loss to Michigan State in 2014.
Ohio State vs. Indiana Free Picks
You just know that Wilson has an axe to grind with his former team. He’s the new offensive coordinator at Ohio State and should be a good one at that.
This is a defense that Wilson built from the ground up, one that should once again end up being a solid unit. But if there’s a man who should know how to pick that unit apart, it’s Wilson.
All the cards are pointing towards a romp for the Buckeyes in Bloomington. It’s odd for OSU to not open up at the ‘Shoe, but we suspect it isn’t going to make any difference. We’d lay 30 in this game if we were forced to do so. Giving just three touchdowns will look like a steal at halftime, and it’s only going to get worse from there for the hosts.
College Football ATS Pick: Ohio State -21 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Ohio State 56, Indiana 17