Northwestern Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Where: Ohio Stadium — Columbus
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 3:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Writer’s Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes (-27)
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Betting on the Northwestern Wildcats (+27)
The Wildcats don’t have good memories in Columbus—a place where they haven’t won a game since 1971. Their chances of ending that drought aren’t looking good to say the least, but please consider that this team is currently on a three-game winning streak.
During that run, Northwestern has been pouring on the points, averaging almost 40 per game. Junior running back Justin Jackson has carried most of the load offensively, as he’s gaining 5.1 yards per carry to go along with three touchdowns.
Stopping the Ohio State offense is the main concern for the Wildcats, though. They have a mediocre pass defense that’s allowing nearly 300 yards per contest, the worst in the Big Ten. They’re also allowing opponents to an average of 40.4 throws, which is also the poorest in the conference.
Northwestern is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
Betting on the Ohio State Buckeyes (-27)
It’s futile to think that the sixth-ranked Buckeyes are going to lose this one. Yes, they’re probably still trying to recover from the shocking loss to Penn State last week, but rest assured you can expect them to respond in a very big way against the visiting Wildcats.
Ohio State should bulldoze past Northwestern’s defense with ease. The reigning national champs are averaging at least 500 offensive yards per game this season, including 281.6 yards on the ground. Speaking of which, Curtis Samuel and Mike Weber, both of whom have amassed 1,210 rushing yards combined and four scores each, are in line for an explosive outing.
Of course, quarterback J.T. Barrett, one of the leading favorites (+1,200) to win this year’s Heisman Trophy and boasts a team-high of six running TDs, provide headaches for the opposing D as well. Barrett, however, has slightly struggled with his passes lately as he’s completing less than 60 percent of his throws along with two interceptions in his previous three games.
Ohio State is 9-1 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 home games.
The Buckeyes (-27) bounce-back and easily cover.
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