Ohio State-TCU Betting Odds
- Odds: Ohio State -12.5
- Over/Under: 59
- Time: 8 p.m. ET, Saturday
- TV Channel: ABC
>> All odds as of 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Fourth-ranked Ohio State is making its yearly pilgrimage out of its comfort zone to face a quality nonconference opponent. This time, it’s No. 15 TCU at Jerry World, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Buckeyes’ offense has rolled through Rutgers and Oregon State, but the defense looked human in the opener against the Beavers despite a massive talent advantage.
TCU can shrink the talent gap that pretty much every team faces against Ohio State thanks to coach Gary Patterson, who is a master at halftime adjustments and at covering as an underdog. He’s 95-56-4 against the second-half spread and 18-6 ATS as a double-digit underdog in full games since 2005.
Market Moves for Ohio State-TCU
The Buckeyes have been the far more popular side all week, drawing 65% of bets and 71% of dollars. There hasn’t been much line movement reflecting that heavy backing, however, as it’s remained around -13 all week, and currently ranges from -12.5 to -13.5 across the market.
As for the total, it’s jumped up 2-3 points behind 74% of bettors and 55% of dollars on the over.
Trends to Know
Many expect TCU fans to occupy more seats since this game is in Texas. But even if that is the case — which you can never assume with how well Ohio State travels — it hasn’t always led to success.
In the 15 games in our database where a Texas-based team hosted a non-Texas opponent at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the out-of-staters are 11-4 (73.3%) against the spread.
By John Ewing
In matchups of Top 25 teams, Urban Meyer is the most profitable coach in the regular season, going 26-14-1 ATS for +11.36 units since 2005. As a favorite of a touchdown or more in this scenario, his teams are 10-5-1 ATS.
Meyer won’t be on the sideline for Saturday’s game, but he is allowed to coach the team during the week.
By Evan Abrams
Patterson has been the head coach at TCU since 2000. Over that span, the Horned Frogs have been listed as at least a touchdown underdog in 24 total games — TCU is 18-6 ATS, covering nine of its last 10 games in this spot dating back to 2012.
Patterson is 6-1 ATS as a double-digit underdog, and the last five games have all been decided by three points or fewer. He’s also 6-7 straight up vs. top-6 teams.
If you like money, you like both of these coaches. Since 2005, Patterson is 86-69-1 (55.5 % ATS and 8.1% ROI), while Meyer is 79-67-1 (54.1% ATS and 6.1% ROI).
Patterson and his team did have an extra day of prep this week after playing last Friday (and they were already in Texas).
TCU has routinely allowed big plays, ranking outside the top 100 in Football Study Hall’s explosiveness metric in each of the last three years. Last year, the Horned Frogs were third-worst in FBS.
Ohio State struggled to move the ball in chunks against elite defenses with J.T. Barrett under center, but Dwayne Haskins has been much more accurate throwing downfield early on. He’s averaging 10.3 yards per pass attempt, which ranks 12th in the FBS.
Can TCU Hang in the Trenches?
The major focus in this game should be in the trenches, where Patterson has been working to create an identity since spring practice with his offensive line. Ohio State returns one of the most ferocious defensive lines in the country, good enough to sack Sam Darnold eight times in last year’s Cotton Bowl (also played at this venue).
Patterson has hinted that there are tricks up his sleeve to combat this defensive line, including possibly playing backup quarterback Michael Collins.
Southern and SMU did not record a sack against TCU, which is a victory for this rebuilt offensive line.
TCU has scored during every red-zone trip so far this season, while Ohio State is tied for47th. TCU has already showed explosiveness in the return game — expect KaVontae Turpin to play a role.
I will look to back TCU at a steamed +14 or with a live bet on Saturday night. If the offensive line can create some sort of protection for Shawn Robinson, the Horned Frogs will be able to hang with the Buckeyes throughout the game.
A Coaching Mismatch
By Ken Barkley
What amazes me about this game is how little we still know about both teams. What questions have been asked of Ohio State so far, which got into a boat race with Oregon State that it was always going to win big, and then did to Rutgers what the Buckeyes always do to Rutgers?
Do we have any idea where to put Ohio State on the map right now? Not even close.
Same can be said of TCU — beating an FCS team and then a struggling SMU (which got smashed by North Texas the week before) doesn’t tell us much, either.
With both teams, the questions were about returning production on defense and new faces, and there’s just no way to know how any of them will adapt in a game that actually means something and will present challenges.
One thing we also don’t know — how good Ohio State is at in-game or halftime adjustments without Meyer. Ryan Day and company haven’t had to make any so far. At halftime against Rutgers, the adjustment was probably getting the game to end as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, you can trust Patterson and his staff in every spot for their ability to come up with meaningful solutions. There is a coaching mismatch in this game, and it’s more about experience on the TCU side.
With all that in mind, and with so many unanswered questions, I actually think this number makes a lot of sense. It’s lower than the ratings systems I use, but rightfully so with Meyer not on the sideline. It really comes down to what you think makes Meyer valuable as a coach — his pregame prep or in-game adjustments.
I came into this season thinking TCU needed more time to reload after losing so much on defense from last season’s team, and this is the first game where that would be illuminated.
So I have a small lean on Ohio State at the number, but really more of a hard pass on all counts while we learn what we’re dealing with on both sides.