Big Ten College Football Odds: (1) Ohio State Buckeyes at Indiana Hoosiers

Urban Meyer is sticking with Cardale Jones despite a putrid second half last week.
Urban Meyer is sticking with Cardale Jones despite a putrid second half last week.

(1) Ohio St-Indiana
Time: 3:30, Oct 3 2015 (ABC/ESPN2)
Spread: OSU -22
Total: 66

Betting odds c/o Bovada

Ohio State failed to cover its 35.5 point spread last week against Western Michigan, winning 38-12 to improve to 4-0 on the season and retain its No. 1 ranking in AP polls.

This week the Buckeyes will travel to Indiana to face a 4-0 Hoosiers team that is nevertheless mostly being counted out in this one. College football oddsmakers have set the line 22-points in favor of Ohio State while a typically high over/under (for Ohio St. contests, anyway) is set at 66.

If Indiana were to somehow win this game and improve to 5-0, it would make the first time in 48 years that the program had done so. The Buckeyes meanwhile have the longest road winning streak in the nation. The matchup will be both teams’ first Big Ten game of the year.


Last week, Indiana knocked off Wake Forest 31-24, but the school has not defeated Ohio State since 1988, going 0-20 over that span. Hoosiers’ WR Simmie Cobbs simply said, “They’re the best team in the country. You can’t hide that.” Ohio State has won 14 road games in a row and 16 straight overall, not to mention 24 straight wins in Big Ten play.

The Buckeyes’ defense has been great, allowing 49 point this year, but its offense has not been quite as dominant with 84 scored, despite having a plethora of potent weapons in its attack. QB Cardale Jones has battled consistency issues and was benched in the win over NIU two weeks ago. He started last week but again was not the dominant QB Ohio State expected, still finishing with 288 yards and a pair of TD passes.

However, in the second half he was just 6 of 14 and had an INT. He rushed 10 times for 32 yards and has not had a big rushing game since the opener (99 yards). Urban Meyer said he played “okay,” but added he has high expectations. Those expectations mean blowing out really bad opponents by scores that get run up, and that just has not yet been the case for OSU, despite its dominance and No. 1 ranking.

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Meyer cited “execution” as the most pressing need for the offense, but it is hard to say RB Ezekiel Elliot has done anything but. He has dominated, and after closing last season with three straight games over 200 rushing yards, it is not really a surprise to anyone. He now has nine straight games with 100 yards or more and ranks No. 3 in Big Ten rushing. However, the guy who grabs the top spot there is on this week’s opponent’s roster.

Aside from Jones and Elliot’s offense, Braxton Miller has become a viable offensive weapon both at WR and RB after having been a QB initially in his OSU career. Miller is listed as a WR but still has over 100 rushing yards on the year, only 18 of which have come in the past two weeks. He caught a pair of passes for 27 yards last week, but he has not had a standout game since Week 1 against Virginia Tech when he produced 140 total yards while scoring both a rushing and passing TD. Ohio State will want to get Miller going again, but it seems he may be hiding a nagging injury given his reduced role, something that is only speculative to be clear.

Jordan Howard is the nation’s leading rusher with 675 yards per game and he won co-offensive player of the week in the Big Ten after rushing for 168 yards and a TD last week against Wake Forest. Howard transferred from UAB.

Last year Howard rushed for 1,587 yards and 13 TDs while averaging 5.2 yards per carry, but he has been even better this year with 6.1 yards per carry and already four TDs on the year.

No. 2 back Devine Redding has also rushed for 237 yards but averages just 3.6 yards per carry. Redding does have three TDs on the year.

Nate Sudfield has had his work cut out for him with his backfield producing. He’s thrown for 1,143 yards on the year at a 61.1 percent clip and a 9.07 yard per attempt average. Sudfield has seven TDs and just one INT, while having racked up a passer rating of 154.1. The 6’6” 240 pound monster has also rushed for 38 yards on 21 attempts.

Last season Sudfield threw over 60 percent for completion too, and he has been over that mark for all four of his seasons at IU. He is aiming to best his sophomore year when he threw for 2,523 yards while posting a raw QB rating of 65.8. So far this year he has been sacked just twice and has a raw QBR of 73.9. He is producing and so is Howard.

Indiana is a good team, but it really fails to stack up to Ohio State. Even so, covering the 22-point spread is a real prospect with how OSU has failed to get its offense clicking and the Hoosiers do have some weapons to put themselves on the scoreboard.

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