How Ohio State’s Betting Odds Change With Urban Meyer Suspension

How Ohio State’s Betting Odds Change With Urban Meyer Suspension article feature image

Jul 24, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

  • Ohio State has suspended head coach Urban Meyer for three games, it announced Wednesday.
  • Meyer allegedly knew of former assistant coach Zach Smith's domestic abuse in 2015 but kept him on staff until last month.
  • Urban Meyer is worth 2.5 points to a spread, which affect individual games, totals and futures markets.

Ohio State has suspended head coach Urban Meyer three games, it announced Wednesday. Meyer had been on paid administrative leave while the university investigated his knowledge of a former assistant coach’s domestic abuse in 2015.

The market should adjust 2.5 power-rating points for each game Meyer is absent. Our Ohio State preview projected the Buckeyes for 10.8 wins, but a drop of 2.5 points per game does have an effect on Ohio State’s outlook — about .2 to .3 wins.

Meyer will miss games against Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU. But he’ll be allowed to coach practice and gameplan for both contests after Oregon State. Ohio State is a 37-point favorite against the Beavers.

Sportsbooks pulled the Buckeyes’ futures odds briefly on Wednesday, then shortened their national title odds from +850 to +775 and Big Ten title odds from +175 to +160. With news that he wouldn’t be fired or miss the whole season, oddsmakers likely anticipated action on those higher prices.

Westgate had Ohio State odds shortened throughout August amid uncertainty about Meyer, but reopened them Wednesday with small changes in the Buckeyes favor.

Here are our projected spreads for every Buckeyes game, with the three-game suspension factored in, plus odds changes from Westgate.

Earlier this month, reporter Brett McMurphy, now with Stadium, published text messages and photos on Facebook from Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

She alleged that Meyer know of Zach Smith’s domestic abuse in 2015 but kept him on staff anyway. Zach Smith was fired in July after an Ohio judge granted Courtney Smith a restraining order.

Meyer originally said he didn’t know anything about Smith’s abuse, then backtracked and said he reported it to his superiors.

As noted in The Action Network’s Aug. 3 piece, oddsmakers wouldn’t miss Meyer roaming the sidelines. During his time at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, Meyer has amassed an impressive 118-84-1 (58.4%) ATS record. At Ohio State since 2012, Urban Meyer is 16-8 ATS against top-25 teams (including bowl games).

That said, if there’s a coaching staff that can take a hit to its leader, it might be Ohio State’s. Ryan Day has been the acting head coach through fall camp after serving as co-offensive coordinator in 2017; he’s a head coach in the making. Co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson was the head coach at Indiana from 2011 through 2016 until reports surfaced of player misconduct.

Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is a former NFL and Rutgers head coach, but came under fire during the recent Tennessee coaching search for his alleged knowledge of abuse at Penn State.

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