Ohio State vs. Tulsa Odds, Prediction, Pick: How to Bet Buckeyes After a Loss (Sept. 18)

Ohio State vs. Tulsa Odds, Prediction, Pick: How to Bet Buckeyes After a Loss (Sept. 18) article feature image

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Ohio State vs. Tulsa Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
3:30 p.m. ET
Ohio State Odds
-110o / -110u
Tulsa Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Both Ohio State and Tulsa enter this game coming off of a loss, albeit one of the losses has been significantly more publicized.

The Buckeyes will look to rebound from a fairly one-sided loss to Oregon. Tulsa comes into the game following a 28-23 loss to Oklahoma State.

With Ohio State in desperate need of a good performance, this matchup against an 0-2 team would appear to come at the right time.

Ohio State Buckeyes

After entering the season with College Football Playoff expectations and National Championship aspirations, the Buckeyes find themselves in an unfamiliar position following a loss in Week 2.

Ryan Day has never suffered a loss in the regular season, so this is truly uncharted territory for the third-year head coach.

Buckeyes Offense

After scoring 41 points per game in 2020 with a 51.6% success rate, the expectations for this offense were sky-high. Through two games, the best way to describe it is inconsistent. Their success rate has dropped down to 49.6%, and they're only averaging 3.2 points per opportunity.

C.J. Stroud has taken criticism from the fan base for missing some throws during his first two starts, but the Buckeye passing game doesn't appear to be the issue for this team.

Through two games, Stroud has a completion percentage of 63.2%, 778 passing yards, and is averaging 10.2 yards per attempt. He has a passing success rate of 52.6%.

The combination of TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams have combined for 271 rushing yards and two TDs.

Veteran back Master Teague has only managed six carries as the offense has apparently shifted in favor of the two younger backs. The Buckeyes have a rushing success rate of 45.5% and a power success rate of 87.5%.

The highly-publicized offensive line that features four players who traditionally line up at tackle has played well through two games. They've allowed a stuff rate of just 5.5% and a havoc rate of 9%.

Generating a running game has been a tale of two games, however. In week 1 against Minnesota, they created 4.1 line yards per attempt, but against Oregon, they generated just 3.4 yards per attempt.

Buckeyes Defense

One thing is clear about the Buckeye defense: it's not good, and that's why Day has given non-committal answers regarding his defensive coordinator's future role with the team.

They've allowed a 42.1% success rate in their two games and are allowing 4.9 points per play. After making big adjustments to their scheme and switching to a 4-2-5 in the off-season, the overall defensive struggles exposed in 2020 are still present in 2021.

Most notable of their early defensive struggles is the complete lack of havoc. Their havoc rate of just 9% comes as a complete shock when looking at the players along the defensive front.

In 2020, despite their overall issues, the Buckeyes had a stout run defense centered around defensive tackles Tommy Togiai and Haskell Garrett. They ranked 26th in the nation in rushing success rate allowed with 38.4%. While they still are allowing just a 39% rushing success rate, Oregon and Minnesota have averaged 5.4 yards per attempt.

The Buckeyes returned Garrett, but the loss of Togiai as well as their top four linebackers has been an obvious issue for the run defense.

The schematic switch to the 4-2-5 hasn't fixed the pass defense either. They're allowing a 46.7% passing success rate and have allowed six explosive pass plays through two games.

Sevyn Banks, who some draft analysts projected as a possible first-round pick, has yet to see game action, so his return may provide some help.

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Now in his seventh year as the head coach, Philip Montgomery entered the year with aspirations of making a bowl game following a 6-3 season, but as heavy underdogs, it's likely that his team will end this weekend 0-3.

Golden Hurricane Offense

Against UC-Davis and Oklahoma State, Tulsa has averaged 20 points per game and has a success rate of 36.9%. They've averaged 3.4 points per opportunity, and they're averaging 27.3 seconds per play.

Davis Brin has led this offense with some success. He's completing 61.8% of his passes for an average of 7.7 yards per attempt.

But he's failed to find the endzone through two games and the team has a passing success rate of just 41.4%. He'll need to consistently find fifth-year senior, Keylon Stokes, to keep this offense on the field for extended drives.

Two RBs, Deneric Prince and Shamari Brooks, have shared the workload for the Golden Hurricanes. Prince, on his 30 carries, has averaged 7.1 yards per attempt and has been a key member of the passing game.

Overall, the running game has been a struggle, however, as they have just a 33.3% rushing success rate and have generated just one run over 20 yards.

The offensive line has been a strength for this offense. They're allowing a stuff rate of 5.6% and have generated 3.25 line yards per attempt. After the success Oregon had last week against the Ohio State defense, this will be a key matchup.

Golden Hurricane Defense

Tulsa has held its two opponents to an average of 23.5 points per game and an average of 4.9 yards per play. Overall, they've allowed a total success rate of 36.8%, but they've allowed opponents to finish drives and score an average of 5.25 points per opportunity.

Tulsa's defensive strength is against the run. They've stuffed 17.5% of rush attempts and have held opposing lines to just 2.73 line yards per attempt. They're allowing a rushing success rate of 35% and their opponents are averaging just 2.8 yards per attempt.

Opposing offenses have found a little more success in the passing game. Tulsa has allowed a completed percentage of 69.4% and 7.8 yards per pass attempt. The Golden Hurricane defense has allowed a 39.3% passing success rate and has a havoc rate of 26.5%.

Ohio State vs. Tulsa Matchup Analysis

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

Tulsa Offense vs. Ohio State Defense




Rush Success11252
Line Yards5674
Pass Success7597
Pass Blocking*3218
Big Play5085
Finishing Drives89111
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Ohio State Offense vs. Tulsa Defense




Rush Success6735
Line Yards1746
Pass Success1972
Pass Blocking*59104
Big Play1825
Finishing Drives100118
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5923
PFF Coverage6998
Middle 858105
SP+ Special Teams93118
Plays per Minute5917
Rush Rate57.% (55)42.9% (116)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.

Both offenses appear to hold an edge against the defenses in this game with above average pace of play.  A high-scoring matchup would likely favor the Ohio State side with their propensity for big plays.

Ohio State vs. Tulsa Betting Pick

In desperate need of a statement win, Ohio State reaches the softer portion of its schedule. While Tulsa is likely to find some success on offense, their defensive struggles against the pass are likely to get exposed enough for Ohio State to score at will.

Ohio State struggled to finish drives against a similarly talented Oregon team, but against a Tulsa team that ranks 83rd in the 247Sports Team Talent Composite, it's unlikely to have similar struggles.

It's a bit square, but I'm backing the big favorite.

Pick: Ohio State -27.5 or better

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