Ohio State vs. NIU NCAA Football Betting Preview

Posted by D.Zamzack on Saturday,September 19, 2015 10:57, EST in

The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will look to improve on their modest Week 2 performance and cash in as huge college football odds favorites one week after failing to cover the spread as similarly enormous favorites against Hawaii last weekend. Now, let’s find out if Urban Meyer’s boys can get it done against a Northern Illinois program that has been on the national map for a few years now.

How to bet the Huskies @ Buckeyes NCAA Football Odds & Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, September 19, 3:30 PM ET
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
NCAAF Odds: Ohio State -34.5
Over/Under: 66.5

Why Bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) didn’t play like their ‘normal’ selves the last time out, but the defending national champions still managed to record an emphatic 38-0 win over Hawaii even though they failed to cover the spread as a whopping 41-point home favorites. The Buckeyes got 101 rushing yards and three touchdowns from gifted running back Ezekiel Elliott but head coach Urban Meyer was not pleased after the win. “We did not execute well,” Meyer said.

Cardale Jones got the start at quarterback for the second straight game and went 6 of 9 for 82 yards in the first half, though he finished with a modest 100 passing yards on the day. Jones fumbled twice in the win but managed to recapture each. Ohio State’s offensive line was called for three penalties and the Buckeyes missed a 46-yard field goal attempt when holder Cameron Johnston mishandled the snap. “It wasn’t a performance that I wanted,” Jones said.

Backup quarterback J.T. Barrett completed 8 of 15 passes for 70 yards and added seven rushing yards on one carry. Meyer admitted to reporters that he is still struggling with how to best utilize his two talented quarterbacks. “I’m evaluating how we’re doing that and what’s the best opportunity to go down the field and score,” he said.

Why Bet on the Northern Illinois Huskies

Northern Illinois (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) struggled in the first half of its Week 2 matchup against Murray State, but put the pedal to the metal in the second half to stretch their first half lead over the Racers and roll to a convincing 57-26 win on Saturday to cash in as huge 29.5-point home favorites. Quarterback Drew Hare completed 29 of 38 passes for 358 yards with four touchdown passes while hooking up with wide receiver Kenny Golladay eight times for 144 yards and two scores. Running back Joel Bouagnon added two additional rushing scores in the win. Huskies head coach Rod Carey spoke on his team’s struggles to run the ball effectively, especially early on.

“Well they had like nine dudes up there, so it’s tough to run against nine when you only have seven to block,” Carey said. “If they’re going to sell out to stop the run like that, you’re going to be able to throw it.”

My Expert Game Analysis, Prediction & Pick:

65 percent of the betting public likes Ohio State to cover the huge point spread as nearly five-touchdown home favorites, but I don’t. Not only has Northern Illinois won nine of its last 10 games, but the Huskies have also compiled a perfect 4-0 ATS mark in their last four games against Big Ten ballclubs while also going 4-2 ATS in its last half-dozen games and an even more impressive 4-1 ATS in its last five road games.

I know the Buckeyes are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against teams from the MAC, but Northern Illinois is probably better than Hawaii and I’m expecting them to give Ohio State a much tougher way to go than the Warriors did in last weekend’s 38-point loss. Here are the game’s Key Over/Under trends:

  • 63 percent of the betting public also like the Over in this contest.
  • The Under is 4-0 in Huskies last 4 road games.
  • Over is 4-0 in Huskies last 4 games overall.
  • Over is 8-0 in Buckeyes last 8 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.
  • Over is 4-0 in Buckeyes last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

The Pick: Northern Illinois +34.5 Points