With more ‘drama’ surrounding their team than a Spanish telenovela, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. Now, with head coach Urban Meyer suspended for the first three games of the regular season, no one really knows what to expect out of the Buckeyes moving forward. Now, as they get set to host Oregon State in their regular season opener, let’s find out if the national championship hopefuls can get the win and cover the chalk.
🏈: Oregon State Beavers at Ohio State Buckeyes
⏰: Sat. Sep 1, 2018 12:00 PM
🏟️: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
📺: ABC ESPN
🎰: Ohio State Buckeyes -38½ -110 | U 64 -110
Oregon State has nowhere to go but up after going 1-11 last season and winning just seven games the last three years combined. The Beavers have a new head coach in Jonathan Smith, but they have some continuity at quarterback with senior Jake Luton back in the saddle after suffering a scary thoracic spine fracture that ended his junior season in its fourth game. Oregon State will now be going to a spread offense, so it’s possible the strong-armed Luton could surpass expectations.
Junior running back Artavis Pierce, tight end Noah Togiai and wide receivers Isaiah Hodgins and Timmy Hernandez are all experienced, so, the Beavers could surprise offensively in 2018.
Oregon State needs to improve their horrendous defense that finished 121st nationally in total defense (473.1 ypg) and 128th in scoring defense (43.0 ppg), but there is talent and some experience in the forms of senior inside linebacker Jonathan Willis and unproven recruiting classmates Shemar Smith, Andrzej Hughes-Murray, Kee Whetzel and Hamilcar Rashed.
Ohio State went 12-2 last season, but 2018 marks their first season in four years without dual-threat signal-caller J.T. Barrett leading them. In his place, the Buckeyes have turned to Dwayne Haskins to lead them into their new era. he’s got a strong throwing arm and he has some experience after playing very well against Michigan last season.
The good news for Ohio State is that they have a nice 1-2 punch at running back in J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, two players that could be playing on Sunday’s in the very near future. Defensively, Ohio State has been nothing short of elite under Urban Meyer and I expect that won’t change one iota in 2018. Defensive end Nick Bosa is a star and future NFL performer like his brother Joey who now plays for the Los Angeles Chargers. The Buckeyes also have a ton of talent in the secondary despite losing All-American cornerback Denzel Ward to the NFL.
Ohio State has won 10 straight home games as a favorite of at least 30 points. However, what you really need to know is that the Buckeyes are just 1-3 ATS in their last four such contests and 2-8 ATS over the entire 10-game span. I know Oregon State is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games, but hell, Ohio State is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games in addition to the ATS trends I spouted earlier. I’m going with Oregon State to put forth a good effort to keep the final score at least respectable!
Pick: Ohio State 38 Oregon State 17