As controversy swirls at Ohio State with the future of head coach Urban Meyer now in doubt, it’s worth mentioning what his departure would mean for bettors. Meyer is on administrative leave while the university investigates his knowledge of an assistant coach’s domestic abuse.
In my eyes, Meyer is worth between 2.5 and 3 points to a spread, and 3.5 to 4 with more than a week to prepare. That equates to about half a win per season. He’s one of the best coaches in the country, both by traditional measures and for bettors.
I know oddsmakers wouldn’t miss him roaming the sidelines on Saturdays, as Meyer has been a cover machine. During his time at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, Meyer has amassed an impressive 118-84-1 (58.4%) ATS record.
Although his overall ATS mark has dropped to a pedestrian 52.5% (42-38-1) at Ohio State, he’s still absolutely money in three specific situations:
- With extra time to prepare
- As an underdog
- In top-25 matchups
DON’T FADE URBAN MEYER WITH PREP
I personally try to never fade Urban Meyer when he has time to prepare — which means I love to back his teams in the following scenarios:
- Season openers (11-3* 78.6%)
- Bowl games (11-3 78.6%)
- Extra prep in-season (20-8** 71.4%)
*No line for Bowling Green’s opener against Tennessee Tech in 2007
**Eight-plus days of prep during regular season; 23/28 after bye weeks
Meyer has an almost unbelievable 42-14 ATS (75%) record when he has at least eight days to prepare for an opponent. He also owns a 22-1 straight-up record after a bye week, with the only loss coming in 2001. Silliness.
DON’T FADE URBAN MEYER AS AN UNDERDOG
Don’t ever fade Meyer as an underdog. Not only is he 6-0 ATS as Ohio State’s coach when not favored, but he’s also 6-0 SU in those games. Overall, Meyer is 20-6 ATS as an underdog — having won 17 (or over 65%) of those 26 games outright.
DON’T FADE URBAN MEYER IN TOP-25 MATCHUPS
How’s a 33-16-1 ATS record in top-25 showdowns sound? That’s good enough for a staggering 67.3%.
This rule might need an “except if he plays Clemson” asterisk, as Dabo Swinney owns a 2-0 head-to-head record against Meyer — with both wins coming as a small underdog in bowl games. In the 2016 College Football Playoff, the Tigers actually handed Meyer the worst loss of his career in a 31-0 Clemson win.