Ohio State Betting Odds Preview
Ohio State went 12-0 in its first season under new head coach Urban Meyer last year. Unfortunately, it didn't matter, because the Buckeyes were playing under a postseason ban. And there are questions as to just how good OSU really was.
They won several close games, a couple against vastly inferior opponents, and didn't have to (or were not able to) play a bowl against an Alabama or a Georgia or even a Texas A&M. This year the Buckeyes are off the ban and back in the hunt for a BCS berth; can they live up to expectations?
Ohio State had 15 starters back last season from a team that went 6-7 in 2011. But the Buckeyes knew from the start their season would end with the Michigan game. No division title, no conference championship game, and no bowl; just their 12 regular-season games to prove … something.
OSU opened with an easy win over Miami-Ohio, but then got tough games from Central Florida, Cal, and even UAB. The Buckeyes won all three of those games but failed to cover the pointspreads. Ohio State then got a one-point win at Michigan State, blasted Nebraska, but allowed 49 points by Indiana in a three-point victory and needed a minor miracle to beat Purdue in overtime.
OSU then won at Penn State and pounded Illinois, but needed overtime to win at Wisconsin and had to come from behind to beat Michigan. So OSU finished 12-0 and a perfect 8-0 in Big Ten play, and managed to go 7-5 ATS. But they also only went 2-5 ATS when favored by double-digits.
This year the Buckeyes return 13 starters; nine are back on offense, including Heisman candidate QB Braxton Miller and four along the line; but just four starters return on defense, just one of the front seven.
Ohio State warms up this year with four very winnable non-conference games, the toughest of which might come against San Diego State. The Buckeyes then jump into Big Ten play with the game that might eventually decide the Leaders Division, a bout with Wisconsin at the Horseshoe.
From there on out the Buckeyes host Iowa, Penn State, and Indiana, and visit Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois, and Michigan. OSU also benefits by missing Michigan State and Nebraska. From afar OSU is likely to be favored in every game this season, except maybe vs. the Wolverines.
Big Ten Championship Odds at SportBet as of August 5
Ohio State -115
Michigan State +800