Big Ten teams rarely open the season against one another, especially in College Football Week 1. They tend to play cupcakes through September and then start off the conference schedule late in the month or early in October. That’s not the case for preseason Big Ten favorite Ohio State who heads into this College Football Week 1 against Indiana as the betting favorites.
Ohio State vs Indiana College Football Week 1 Odds & Betting Preview
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) June 23, 2017
When: Thursday, Aug. 31, 8 PM ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind.
Radio: 97.1 FM The Fan (Ohio State) / 107.5 FM The Fan (Indiana)
Opening College Football Week 1 Lines: Ohio State -20.5
Why Bet On Ohio State?
Ohio State will not only open its season on the road in prime time, it will do so against a Big Ten opponent — Indiana — for the first time since 1976.
The last time Ohio State opened a season on Thursday was in 2010 against Marshall, though that 45-7 victory was vacated by the NCAA due to sanctions stemming from Tattoo-gate. The most recent Thursday night affair came in 1997 when the Buckeyes beat Wyoming 24-10 as part of the first-ever BCA Classic.
It is set to be the seventh time ever Ohio State kicked off its season on a day other than Saturday. Most recently, the Buckeyes won at Virginia Tech 42-24 on Labor Day night to kick off the 2015 season.
Ohio State’s new offensive coordinator is former Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson. Wilson went 26-47 in six seasons at Indiana and last season led the Hoosiers to their first bowl game since 2007.
He resigned abruptly in December because of what athletic director Fred Glass described as a difference in leadership styles.
Meyer and Wilson Have Met Before
Urban Meyer knows Wilson well. In 2001, Meyer’s Bowling Green faced Northwestern, where Wilson served as the offensive coordinator from 1999-2001.
Seven years later, the two would meet again when Meyer’s Florida team won the national title against Oklahoma, where Wilson directed the Sooners’ offense. Over the course of their past five years as Big Ten contemporaries, Meyer has praised Wilson as an offensive mind.
Who Will Lead the Offense This Season?
OSU’s offense is led by fifth-year senior J.T. Barrett, the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and a Heisman candidate. He is 26-4 as a starting quarterback. Barrett has thrown for 6,381 yards (3rd at Ohio State) and 69 touchdowns (1st) and rushed for 2,456 yards (17th) with 31 touchdowns.
He finished among top 10 vote getters for Heisman Trophy twice, including 5th in 2014.
Why Bet On Indiana?
The guy replacing Wilson at IU is his former defensive coordinator, Tom Allen. Allen joined the staff in January 2015. He previously coordinated defense at University of South Florida and led Indiana high school power Ben Davis High School. The 2016 Hoosiers finished the regular season 37th in defensive S&P+. In the week leading up to facing Allen’s defense, Meyer called it “the best defense” they had seen all year.
Allen engineered one of the top defensive turnarounds in the country in 2016. IU’s defense improved in every major statistical category against a schedule featuring four top 10 opponents, a program first.
IU is holding its opponents to 372.6 total yards, an improvement of 136.9 yards over 2015, the largest improvement in the country. The Hoosiers limited their foes to 93.6 fewer passing yards, also first nationally, and 10.3 fewer points, which ranked sixth nationally.
Who Will Take the QB Spot?
QB Richard Lagow returns. Last year as a junior, he finished 253-of- 438 (57.8 percent) for 3,362 yards with 19 passing touchdowns, 17 interceptions, two rushing TDs and one receiving score.
He ranked second in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (258.6, 28th nationally), third in yards per completion (13.3, 32nd) and completions (19.4, 39th), fifth in touchdowns (19), and sixth in total offense per game (250.3) and passing efficiency (128.8).
What Happened the Last Time These Two Met?
Last year, IU lost 38-17 at No. 2 Ohio State. Barrett rushed a career-high 26 times for 137 yards and a touchdown and threw for another score. Barrett was 9-of- 23 for 93 yards passing.
Ohio State was forced to rely mostly on its ground game, which accounted for 290 yards, and some tough play by its defense. Lagow was 14-of- 28 for 182 yards and two touchdowns, but Indiana managed just 99 yards rushing. Indiana had 281 total yards, compared with 383 for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State vs Indiana Brief History
- Games Played: 89
- Current Streak: Ohio State with 21 wins (1991-2016)
- Largest Margin of Victory: Ohio State 56-0 (1957)
- Longest Winning Streak: Ohio State 23 (1960-1986)
Latest Results from This Series
- October 8th, 2016. Columbus, OH. Ohio State 38 Indiana 17
- October 3rd, 2015. Bloomington, IN. Ohio State 34 Indiana 27
- November 22nd, 2014. Columbus, OH. Ohio State 42 Indiana 27
- November 23rd, 2013. Columbus, OH. Ohio State 42 Indiana 14
- October 13th, 2012. Bloomington, IN. Ohio State 52 Indiana 49
- November 5th, 2011. Columbus, OH. Ohio State 34 Indiana 20
- October 9th, 2012. Columbus, OH. Ohio State 38 Indiana 10
Latest College Football Betting Trends
Ohio State Buckeyes
- Odds to Win the 2018 Championship: +450
- Odds to Win Big Ten Conference: +140
- 2017-18 Regular Season Wins: O 10½ -160 / U 10½ +130
- Odds to Win the 2018 Championship: 40000
- Odds to Win Big Ten Conference: +5000
- 2017-18 Regular Season Wins: O 6 -110 / U 6 -120
Ohio State vs Indiana College Football Week 1 Pick
Ohio State is loaded this season and with the current streak they have over the Hoosiers, it’s very doubtful that they can lose. The team is very tough and the psychological tole that Indiana has taken over the course of 26 years, that carries a lot of heavy weight to unload, but it just keeps loading more every time.
Give the points before the line gets over three touchdowns.