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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oklahoma Sooners Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Football Week Three Betting Preview – September 17, 2016

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oklahoma Sooners Predictions, Picks, Odds, and NCAA Football Week Three Betting Preview – September 17, 2016

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Ohio St. Buckeyes vs. Oklahoma Sooners Preview

Where: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium – Norman, Oklahoma

When: Saturday, September 17, 7:30 PM ET

Line: Ohio State Buckeyes (-2) at Oklahoma Sooners (+2) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: FOX

Writer’s Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes (-2)


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Betting on the Ohio State Buckeyes (-2)

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Ohio State’s offense with J.T. Barrett in command is one of the very best in the country. The junior quarterback is now the full-time starter after splitting time with Cardale Jones last year, and has responded by leading the Buckeyes to 62.5 points in its first two games. Barrett’s always a threat with his legs, especially in the red zone, and he also has a couple of emerging receiving targets in Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson.

But the big surprise for the Buckeyes thus far has been the defense. Despite losing a ton of talent on that side of the ball to the NFL, new defensive coordinator Greg Schiano has molded an inexperienced but very athletic unit into a turnover machine. Through two games, the Buckeyes have forced nine takeaways against two very good offenses in Bowling Green and Tulsa.

The Buckeyes have the speed in that defense to contain Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield’s occasional scrambles. Mayfield isn’t quite as effective when he’s just trapped in the pocket, and the opportunistic Ohio State secondary should be ready to capitalize on any errant throws. Safety Malik Hooker was excellent against Tulsa, registering two of the Buckeyes’ four interceptions.

Since 1992, Ohio State has gone 11-1 ATS as a road favorite of 3 points or less.

Betting on the Oklahoma Sooners (+2)

It might only be Week 3, but Oklahoma’s season hangs in the balance. The Sooners’ chances of returning to the College Football Playoff – they are currently priced at +2,500 to win it all – are in peril after their Week 1 loss to Houston. Another loss would surely take them out of the running for this year’s playoff, so they should have a much stronger sense of urgency in this matchup against another playoff-caliber team in Ohio State.

The Sooners surprisingly moved away from their strong running game in Week 1 against Houston as Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine combined for just 12 carries. That obviously can’t happen again against Ohio State. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley needed the loss at Texas to fully commit to the run last season, and that Week 1 loss to Houston could be the wake-up call he needs to re-commit to it this year.

Oklahoma’s running game is definitely good enough to move the ball consistently against the Buckeyes, and that will be key in keeping the explosive Ohio State offense off the field. Not that the Sooners D can’t hold its own against the Buckeyes. They were able to turn Houston’s dangerous Greg Ward Jr. into a relative non-factor on the ground thanks to strong performances from the front seven. That bodes well for their chances of containing another dangerous runner in Barrett.

Writer’s Prediction

Ohio State (-2.5) outlasts Oklahoma in Norman, 35-31.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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