Nebraska vs. Ohio State Picks & Betting Odds: Bank on a Buckeyes Blowout?
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ohio State Buckeyes fan Big Nut
Nebraska vs. Ohio State Betting Picks & Odds
Ohio State Spread: -17
Nebraska Spread: +17
Ohio State Moneyline: -850
Nebraska Moneyline: +580
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Ohio State at Nebraska Line Movement
Nothing out of the ordinary here, as both Ohio State and the over are once again drawing public action — 68% and 64% of bets, respectively.
In terms of the spread, the Buckeyes’ popularity drove this line up to as high as -18, but the most recent movement has since come in favor of the Cornhuskers, settling this line on an important number of 17.
The total has surprisingly been a bit harder for bettors to move, as the high- and low-water marks are within 1.5 points of one another. After opening at 66.5 across most of the market, it’s settled back to that same number over the course of the week. — Danny Donahue
Stuckey: Bet Numbers, Not Teams
Nebraska wants to play super fast, which could spell disaster if their offensive line (which has been better of late but has ugly metrics overall) can’t block the ferocious Ohio State defensive line, led by likely first-round pick Chase Young.
Nebraska has been extremely careless with the ball and that’s the last thing you want to do around the strip-sack artist Young and a DL that leads the nation in sacks.
And it’s not just the defensive front, the Buckeyes have loads of speed at linebacker and an excellent secondary, led by two rock-solid seniors in safety Jordan Fuller and corner Damon Arnette, in addition to star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, the No. 1 corner recruit in the 2017 class. This defense has a chance to be really special.
On the offensive side of the ball, Justin Fields has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation over the first month of the season and there’s of course JK Dobbins in the backfield. The explosive back is averaging 7.0 yards per carry on 68 attempts so far this year.
And on the off chance that Ohio State has to punt, they have one of the best punters in the country in Drue Chrisman.
Basically what I’m trying to say is this Ohio State is loaded.
But if you look at the Action App, you’ll see I played Nebraska +17.5. So, what gives?
Sometimes it’s just a numbers game. I make this closer to two touchdowns, so I grabbed the value with 17.5. I wouldn’t play the Huskers at anything under 17.
I fully expect Ohio State to come away victorious but Nebraska has the talent to hang around in front of a frenzied home crowd on Saturday night in Lincoln.
And, who knows, maybe Ohio State gives us another stinker as a double-digit road favorite in conference for the third straight year…
- 2018: Lost at Purdue 49-20 as 12.5-point favorites
- 2017: Lost 55-24 at Iowa as 21-point favorites
Pick: Nebraska +17 or better
Collin Wilson: Nebraska Looks Decent Under the Hood
Circa Sports opened this line at Ohio State -15 and the early action was on the Buckeyes. We said on the Monday episode of The Action Network Podcast that this line would hit 17 or more and once it did, you should invest in Nebraska.
As of Thursday evening, most sportsbooks have moved off 17.5 and there is a chance that this line hits 16 before kick.
Ohio State has impressed, but it has yet to really be battle tested. The Buckeyes trucked Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, Indiana and Miami of Ohio, outscoring opponents 169-15 since Week 2. Ohio State ranks first in defensive havoc, stuff rate and opportunity rate.
Nebraska has had a bumpy ride up to this point in the season. The Huskers overcame four lost fumbles in a win over Illinois, they needed two defensive scores to beat South Alabama and they lost in overtime to Colorado. On the season, Nebraska has lost nine fumbles and thrown two interceptions.
What makes Nebraska a fascinating play is the potential of quarterback Adrian Martinez, especially if the Huskers can keep the box score clean. Martinez has been able to get the ball downfield in chunk yards and has Nebraska inside the top 10 in passes of 20-plus yards.
Nebraska also has one of the most explosive rush teams in the nation, ranking in the top-20 in 20, 30 and 40-plus yard gains.
While the Ohio State defense will be put to the test for the first time, the real battle happens on the other side of the ball.
Justin Fields has thrown for 880 yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions through four games but he will have his hands full with Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and his blitz-heavy 3-4 package.
Nebraska will get beat on a few throws from Fields, but the Cornhuskers rank first in the nation in passes defensed this far in the season. Blend that with a defensive front seven that is top-35 in line yards, stuff rate and sack rate, and the Cornhuskers should give Ohio State their toughest test of the season.
Pick: Nebraska +17 or better