Ohio State 2019 Betting Guide: Buckeyes Have 2 Major Question Marks

Ohio State 2019 Betting Guide: Buckeyes Have 2 Major Question Marks article feature image

Joseph Maoirana-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Justin Fields

Ohio State 2019 Betting Odds

  • National Title Odds: 16-1
  • To Win Big 10: +175
  • To Make The Playoff: +250
  • Win Total: 10

Ohio State Schedule, Projected Spreads

What to Like about Ohio State

Urban Meyer and Dwayne Haskins can be a tough act to follow.

Both new head coach Ryan Day and transfer quarterback Justin Fields are going to attempt that very feat. The returning production ranks tell two different stories, as the offense ranks 117th while the defense is No. 8.

Ohio State is one of the few programs where you do not put much stock into what is returning, as its recruiting ranking was second overall in the action in 2017 and 2018. The defense is solid with a number of returners, including Bednarik Award Watch list member Chase Young.

Ohio State EDGE Chase Young shows some serious juice coming off of the edge. pic.twitter.com/2WrgpYpPou

— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) May 9, 2019

Most of the lowlights over the past two seasons may center around blowout losses to Iowa and Purdue, but that does not negate how stout the defense has been in some ways. Under defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, Ohio State simply gave up too many huge plays and did some other things pretty well. Schiano is now gone.

In 2018, the Buckeyes defense was 36th in success rate, 10th in stuff rate and 29th in passing downs sack rate. Combined with an overall havoc rating of 27th and third downs success rate of 20th, the Ohio State defense will be the strength of the team until the offense finds an identity.

What Could Cause Problems

Quarterback depth leads the list of issues with this season Ohio State team. With Haskins gone to the NFL, Day elected to bring Justin Fields in from Georgia. This caused a domino effect with quarterbacks Tate Martell, Matthew Baldwin and Kory Curtis exiting Columbus via the transfer portal.

On the most recent Action Network Podcast, The Athletic’s Ohio State beat writer Ari Wasserman echoed that sentiment. If Fields doesn’t get better as a passer (we didn’t see much of that from him at Georgia) or gets hurt, the Buckeyes are in big trouble.

Ohio State's season may come down to quarterback play. The Athletic's @AriWasserman stops by the @ActionNetPod to discuss Haskins to Fields and the depth on the current roster

Subscribe and Rate as plenty more Power Five episodes drop https://t.co/OHbQhExLzg pic.twitter.com/BryJTodWlv

— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) July 29, 2019

Ohio State loses 116 career starts on the offensive line entering 2019. Protection of Fields will be priority one for the Buckeyes, along with solving the big play issue on defense.

When Rondale Moore and Purdue ran wild on Ohio State, it highlighted a defensive rank of 115th against explosiveness. The Buckeyes were efficient, but also ranked in the bottom 10 in FBS against explosive plays in the rush game and in passing downs situations.

Plenty have pointed to former defensive coordinator Schiano’s schemes. New defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, formerly of Michigan, will looks to simplify the defensive play calling and limit some of those big plays.

Other Nugget(s)

Three of four conference road games are winnable with travel to Indiana, Northwestern and Rutgers. The Sept. 28 game in Lincoln will be the biggest game of Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost short career at Nebraska.

Ohio State gets most of its toughest games at home with Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State. The Buckeyes have covered the spread against the Nittany Lions just once in the past five years.

This season will be dependent on the defense stopping explosive plays on the ground. Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Nebraska, Maryland, Penn State and Michigan each fielded 2018 rushing explosiveness ranks in the top 40 in all of FBS. Teams that excelled in IsoPPP gave Ohio State fits in 2018.


— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 17, 2018

Bets to Watch

With an Action Network projection of 9.7 wins, taking Ohio State Under 10.5 or 10 is the play on the total. When making investments in any market, you want more constants than variables, and Ohio State is full of question marks.

Also, some operators will offer a ‘NO’ to Ohio State making the College Football Playoff. Anything at -300 or less deserves an investment. The Buckeyes would need to win vs. Penn State, at Michigan and in the Big Ten Championship Game in consecutive weeks to make the Playoff.

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