Minnesota vs Ohio State Odds, Prediction: No Lookahead for Buckeyes
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson.
- Minnesota meets Ohio State in a Saturday afternoon college football showdown on Nov. 18.
- Ohio State enters as a favorite of -27.5, while the over/under sits at 51.5.
- Read on for our full betting preview and pick for Minnesota vs Ohio State in Week 12.
Minnesota vs Ohio State Odds
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The game before The Game — that's where we find Ohio State.
It’s the perfect recipe for a lookahead spot, unless, of course, it’s not. Ohio State has won the game before its Michigan matchup for seven straight years.
The Buckeyes (10-0) know they must win their two remaining games to clinch the Big Ten East and all but guarantee a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Minnesota (5-5), meanwhile, has dropped two straight and needs a win against the Buckeyes or Wisconsin to secure bowl eligibility.
While the injury-plagued Golden Gophers are playing some of their worst football to date, can the Buckeyes keep their focus long enough to cover the spread?
Let's dive into the Minnesota vs. Ohio State odds and find a pick for Saturday, Nov. 18.
P.J. Fleck’s Minnesota boat continues to take on water after the Golden Gophers dropped their second straight game last week to Purdue.
Mounting injuries have been a problem for Minnesota, as the Gophers were forced to rely upon a former walk-on safety at the running back position and turned to a true freshman at linebacker against the Boilermakers.
Injuries to the running back position have been of big concern for Minnesota, one of the most run-heavy teams in the nation. Minnesota has been without star freshman running back Darius Taylor for three straight weeks, and its rushing numbers have tailed off because of it.
Minnesota has recorded two of its four lowest rushing numbers in the last two weeks.
The potential good news is that Taylor is active this week and might return against the Buckeyes. Despite having played in only five games this season, Taylor has almost 200 more rushing yards than the next closest player on the roster.
Without a strong running game, quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis has been unable to move the ball. The Gophers are 10th in the conference in passing with just 158.2 yards per game, with Kaliakmanis throwing the third most interceptions in the Big Ten.
An ineffective offense is a nightmare pairing with an even worse defense. Minnesota sits in the bottom half of the conference in total and scoring defense and is coming off its worst defensive performance to date.
Last week, Purdue wracked up over 600 yards of total offense on the Gophers and more than doubled its typical rushing performance (154.8 rushing yards per game), running the ball for 353 yards and four touchdowns.
Ohio State knows its season hinges on next week, but the Buckeyes are coming off arguably their most complete performance of the season. Ohio State throttled Michigan State last week, 38-3, outgaining the Spartans in total yardage, 530-180.
Kyle McCord’s 335 yards passing were the most of his career, and he did it in less than three quarters of football. McCord leads the best passing offense in the Big Ten (290.2 yards per game) thanks in large part to the best receiver in the nation.
Marvin Harrison Jr.'s 106.3 yards receiving per game lead the conference, and his 12 receiving touchdowns are the second most nationally.
The Buckeyes have also found their man in the backfield with TreVeyon Henderson. While he wasn’t needed much against the Spartans, Henderson’s 162 yards against Wisconsin and 128 yards versus Rutgers were his best outings of the season and the first times he's carried the ball at least 20 times.
Even with playmakers on offense, it’s Ohio State’s defense that is the true strength of this team. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in Pass Success Allowed and have only allowed one team — Western Kentucky — to throw for more than 200 yards.
Running doesn’t come easy on Ohio State either. The Buckeyes have held three of their last four opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
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Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Minnesota and Ohio State match up statistically:
Minnesota Offense vs. Ohio State Defense
Ohio State Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||35||31|
|Seconds per Play||29.8 (116)||27.6 (80)|
|Rush Rate||61.7% (15)||51.6% (75)|
Minnesota vs Ohio State
Betting Pick & Prediction
The obvious angle here is that the Buckeyes are poised for a slow start with their focus turned to Michigan next week.
While Ohio State probably can’t wait for this game to be over, this is still just too much of a talent mismatch to back the Gophers.
Whether it’s through the air or on the ground, Ohio State shouldn’t have a problem moving the ball on Minnesota. Even if the Buckeyes play conservatively, Henderson is playing his best football of the season and is facing a Minnesota defense that is still tired from allowing over 350 yards rushing to Purdue.
Kaliakmanis is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the Big Ten. He’s also extremely turnover-prone and good for at least one pick-six against quality defenses.
Even if Taylor returns, he won’t be in game shape to change this matchup. Taylor has already returned once from a multi-game absence, and in his first game back, he rushed for only 59 yards.
So yes, this is a classic trap game. But Minnesota is the cheese in a rat trap trying to slow down a grizzly bear on its way to Ann Arbor.