Lionized Ohio State Buckeyes host Northwestern Wildcats

Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Northwestern Wildcats College Football odds and Analysis

The Ohio State Buckeyes stumbled and fell but continue to be favored by fans betting on college football as they receive the Northwestern Wildcats at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, October 29th. The following are the NCAA football betting odds for the game:

Northwestern +26½ (-110) 53 (-110) +2000
Ohio State -26½ (-110) 53 (-110) -4000

The Wildcats (4-3) have won three straight games, the latest being a 24-14 win over the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday. Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson threw 24 of 43 for 285 yards with TD passes to Austin Carr (who had 125 yards on seven receptions), Macan Wilson, and Solomon Vault – and becoming in the process the first Wildcats QB to throw three or more scoring passes in as many consecutive games. Additionally, running back Justin Jackson ran for 94 yards on 28 carries. Jackson has 465 rushing yards in the past three games.

The Buckeyes (6-1) disappointed many people betting on college football when they lost 21-24 to the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday, dropping to the No. 6 spot of the AP Poll. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett finished 28 of 43 for 245 yards with one TD pass to tight end Marcus Baugh, and was sacked six times – twice on the Buckeyes’ last possession. Ohio State saw a 20-game road winning streak come to an end, and became the highest-ranked college to lose to an unranked college this regular season. Other than that, though, the Buckeyes did not play badly at all; Ohio State outgained Penn 413 yards to 276, had 14.5 more minutes of possession, and forced a TO. A blocked field goal that led to a decisive score was what proved to be their undoing.

Against the Lions, Buckeyes running back Curtis Samuel ran for 71 yards on just two carries with one TD, and he added 68 yards on eight receptions. Fans betting on college football can expect Samuel to carry the ball more and be a big offensive element against the Wildcats. And speaking of Ohio State’s defense, the biggest question for Northwestern is can they stop it? The Wildcats’ pass defense ranks last in the Big Ten, allowing 282.4 yards per game (to the Buckeyes’ 278.4 yards allowed per game). Northwestern’s opponents average 40.4 passing attempts, the most in the Big Ten. Meanwhile’s Barrett’s unit averages a conference-best 6.4 yards per play – though the QB has had trouble with the passing game in the last three games, completing less than 60% of his attempts and throwing two picks.

Ohio State should look on the bright side, though, which in this case is that they have not lost back-to-back games since 2013. The Buckeyes are 25-9-1 against the spread in their last 35 games after a straight up loss and 4-1 against the spread in their last 5 games at home. On the other hand, Northwestern is 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five visits to Ohio State and 0-5 against the spread in their last five encounters overall.