Oregon vs. Ohio State Odds, Prediction, Pick: Betting Value on Buckeyes Team Total in Marquee Matchup (Sept. 11)

Oregon vs. Ohio State Odds, Prediction, Pick: Betting Value on Buckeyes Team Total in Marquee Matchup (Sept. 11) article feature image

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Garrett Wilson.

  • Week 2 begins with a solid matchup, as the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Oregon Ducks in Saturday college football action.
  • Injuries are surrounding both teams, but the Buckeyes still boast their explosiveness.
  • Collin Wilson breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick and prediction based on his analysis.

Oregon vs. Ohio State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 11
12 p.m. ET
Oregon Odds
-115o / -105u
Ohio State Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Editor's Note: It was reported Saturday morning that Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was standing in street clothes ahead of gametime while most of his teammates warmed up.

There may be a shortage of high-profile games the second weekend of September, but the Pac-12's highest-ranked team from the AP Top 25 travels to the Horseshoe in the biggest.

This game will have implications for the College Football Playoff, as a loss at home will send Ohio State behind Clemson in the pecking order of one-loss teams.

As for Oregon, West Coast teams have not been relevant to the CFP committee in years, and a loss here serves as a statement for the conference.

Oregon Ducks

The biggest star on Oregon's team, and perhaps in the entire conference, may be on the shelf for the trip to Columbus.

Kayvon Thibodeaux left the Fresno State game with a sprained ankle but is still listed as a starter on the Monday depth chart.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day addressed the media on Tuesday and said the offensive line will prepare as if Thibodeaux will be playing.

The betting market tends to overreact to players outside the quarterback position in college football, but Thibodeaux presents a unique challenge to Ohio State.

The Buckeyes swapped offensive linemen most of training camp and landed on Nicholas Petit-Frere and Dawand Jones. Of the six quarterback hurries created by Fresno State, Petit-Frere and Jones were responsible for half of those.

Thibodeaux's full health in this game is paramount to the Ducks handicap.

Ducks Offense

Quarterback Anthony Brown kicked off the season against a quality Group of Five defense in Fresno State. The stat box included 15 completions and 16 rushing attempts, but Oregon struggled to get inside the top 75 in run blocking, passing and receiving, per PFF.

Fresno managed eight tackles for loss and limited Ducks passing downs to just 4.5 yards per play. The one explosive play on the ground came on a fourth-down designed run by Brown.

4th-down conversion 🤝 Touchdown

📺 https://t.co/4Xv05eRwm0#GoDucks | @anthonybrown_2pic.twitter.com/s6MwhrBxLm

— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) September 4, 2021

Out of 14 possessions, the offense did manage two explosive drives, which is defined as averaging 10-plus yards per play. Standard Downs Success Rate was a shining point for the offense, maintaining near 60% when keeping within the scheduled down and distance.

The key to scoring on the Buckeyes is for Oregon to stay in standard downs, as Fresno generated 16 pressures and sacked Brown four different times. Joe Moorhead may have held most of the playbook back, but he did call Brown's performance against Fresno "a solid game with room for improvement."

Fresno State fields a defensive front seven that ranks in the middle of the Mountain West, but center Alex Forsyth is the only Oregon offensive lineman to place top-200 in blocking grades through one week.

Both Steven Jones and George Moore logged the most snaps at tackle but must post better run and pass block grades to score on Ohio State.

Ducks Defense

While the health of Thibodeaux will be unknown leading up to kickoff, there were other standout performances against Fresno State.

Defensive tackle Brandon Dorlus created five pressures as the Ducks ranked 11th in pass-rushing, along with 10th in run defense, according to Pro Football Focus.

Fresno was held to just one explosive drive and 11 stuffed runs on just 26 rushing attempts. Like the offense, Oregon was much more successful in standard downs.

🚨Big Play🚨

Oregon LB Noah Sewell, strips the ball away from Ronnie Rivers, Oregon recovers! #FresnoState#Oregon


— Sideline CFB (@SidelineCFB) September 4, 2021

Fresno State cruised in passing downs and Finishing Drives but ultimately was outdone by five fumbles, three recovered by the Ducks.

When the Bulldogs were in passing downs, they accumulated a 48% Success Rate, well beyond the national average of 31%.

Fresno ended with just 3.5 points per trip past the 40-yard line, but it capitalized in all five trips to the red zone with two touchdowns and three field goals.

That is not good news for the new Tim DeRuyter defense, a 3-3-5 scheme designed to give up yards but hold up when opponents get into scoring position.

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Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes trailed Minnesota, 14-10, heading into halftime in Week 1. The two touchdown drives were dominated by Mohamed Ibrahim rushing attempts, allowing the Gophers to control the clock.

More importantly, a Minnesota defense that ranked last in almost every category a year ago had positive regressions.

CJ Stroud was picked off, and Ohio State managed just a field goal on a 14-play drive that took seven minutes off the clock.

An Ibrahim injury in the second half allowed the Ohio State defenders to focus on the Gophers passing attack, while Stroud rebounded with four touchdowns through the air.

Day has made numerous mentions of the offensive line swapping positions and defensive changes coming for the Oregon game after a limited sample set of 48 offensive plays against Minnesota.

Buckeyes Offense

The offensive line was a concern at the tackle position going into the Minnesota game, as Stroud looked for short routes and targets in the flats during the first half.

Despite the challenges of a new quarterback and players at the tackle position, Ohio State finished with a 61% Success Rate in standard downs, averaging 11.1 yards per play.

Half of the 10 possessions for the Buckeyes were explosive drives, with just two of their 26 rushing attempts being stuffed at the line of scrimmage.

This was just too easy for @OhioStateFB's Miyan Williams 😤 pic.twitter.com/zhlHFs15O9

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2021

Leading the charge on offense was running back Miyan Williams, who posted video-game numbers with 11.6 yards after contact and two explosive runs while creating four missed tackles.

Only a third of Ohio State plays were in passing downs, posting a 41% Success Rate and 8.9 yards per play, both well above the national average.

Once the running game had the Gophers on their heels, Stroud took calculated risks downfield.

🎯 @CJ7STROUD with a BEAUTY to @OhioStateFB@OhioStateFB goes back in front! pic.twitter.com/mZZDS9ig5H

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2021

Although Ohio State has the best group of receivers in the nation, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave combined for just nine receptions and just shy of 200 yards.

Stroud posted a final line of four touchdowns and an interception. The most important statistic for the freshman was the fact he recorded zero turnover-worthy plays in 24 dropbacks.

Buckeyes Defense

Plenty of early-week action on the point spread had the Buckeyes steam past two touchdowns.

Day's presser on Tuesday included a "no comment" approach to the injury status of three starters in the secondary.

Cornerbacks Cameron Brown and Seven Banks, along with safety Josh Proctor, are all questionable for this game, giving Oregon a clear point of attack.

Brown and Banks did not play against Minnesota, but the Proctor injury could range from a separated shoulder to a broken collarbone.

Once Ibrahim was injured for Minnesota, quarterback Tanner Morgan took to the Ohio State secondary. The Gophers ended the game with a 52% Success Rate in passing plays, completing three throws over 20 yards.

The Buckeyes failed to stop passing downs, allowing the Gophers to convert 8-of-14 third-down attempts, finishing with a Success Rate almost double the national average.

Ohio State did generate some Havoc with four tackles for loss and two sacks, well off the Buckeye defenses of the past.

One Havoc play resulted in an immediate score for coordinator Kerry Coombs.

🚨 SCOOP AND SCORE 🚨@HaskellGarrett_ with the big man TD for @OhioStateFBpic.twitter.com/paBwcwP7qp

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2021

Oregon vs. Ohio State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Oregon and Ohio State match up statistically:

Oregon Offense vs. Ohio State Defense




Rushing Success
Passing Success
Line Yards
Sack Rate
Finishing Drives

Ohio State Offense vs. Oregon Defense




Rushing Success
Passing Success
Line Yards
Sack Rate
Finishing Drives

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
Rush Rate
67.1% (21)
54.2% (69)
Seconds per Play

Data via College Football Data (CFBD) and FootballOutsiders; SP+ projection per ESPN.

Oregon vs. Ohio State Betting Pick

There are a number of storylines coming into this game, all revolving around the potential for points to be scored.

Day mentioned that scoring 45 points on just 48 plays left his sample size smaller than he would like when it comes to making decisions on the two-deep depth chart.

The explosiveness is certainly there, as TreVeyon Henderson had two carries but scored an explosive 70-yard touchdown in his only target from Stroud.

"Welcome to college football, @TreVeyonH4!" 🗣️@joelklatt recognizes the next @OhioStateFB star: pic.twitter.com/hK1XJ9y3T1

— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 3, 2021

Day was content that the defense did not allow many explosive plays to Minnesota, but nine missed tackles were a concern.

Now, with three potential starters out of the secondary, there is reason to believe Oregon may gain additional yards after contact with the Buckeyes ranking 47th in tackling, per PFF.

The question is whether or not Brown will do enough offensively to put points on the board, as Oregon travels east for a kickoff at 9 a.m. PT. The Ducks quarterback averaged just 8.3 yards for an average depth of target, but the offensive line must play better after allowing Fresno to pressure the Boston College transfer.

There are multiple areas of concern for Oregon, from the Fresno fumbles to the Ducks having an average starting field position at the 39.5-yard line. Another concern may be the coaching mismatch.

Fresno State won the "Middle 8," 10-7. That statistic calculates points for and points against with four minutes remaining in the first half and the first four minutes after the second-half kickoff.

The "Middle 8" is not a statistic used in every handicap, but with Day, it's one of the most important. Since 2019, Ohio State is the best "Middle 8" team in the country.

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The Oregon defense excels at generating a pass rush but has downward-trending grades against the rush specifically in standard downs. The Ducks will be tasked with stopping Williams rushing off the edge and Henderson releasing out of the backfield as a target for Stroud.

If the Fresno State offense had no issues moving the ball with Thibodeaux in the game, the Buckeyes will generate plenty of explosive plays.

While the Action Network projections line this game at Ohio State -14.5 with a total of 62, the question remains whether or not the Oregon offense can do its part.

The Buckeyes secondary may be without the bulk of their starters, while Coombs must see improvement after a disappointing opener in the tackling department.

Nothing about Travis Dye or CJ Verdell's first game suggests the explosive running is there, as just a single rush went over 15 yards without many additional yards after initial contact.

Oregon's chances of getting the total over and covering the spread rely solely on Brown's ability to create missed tackles in open space.

Considering all the variables from the offensive lines, issues with tackling and the injury report, the only constant in this game is Ohio State's explosiveness on offense.

Williams and Henderson represent two options who can take any attempt to the end zone. Certainly not forgotten are Olave and Wilson, two surefire NFL players next season.

If the Ohio State defense does not resolve tackling issues or return any of its secondary issues, the result could be additional offensive drives for Stroud.

Pick: Ohio State Team Total Over 37

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