College Football Predictions: Colorado Buffaloes at Ohio State Buckeyes Sports Handicapping Preview

Colorado Buffaloes at Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, 9/24/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -15.5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -16.5
Opening Total:  46.5
Current Total:  47.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes were bounced out of the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in seven years

Colorado picked up its first win of the season last week with a 28-14 victory over Colorado State has seven-point favorites.  The Buffaloes have actually out-gained their last two opponents by a combined 229 yards, but was unable to hand the Cal Bears a loss in their Pac-12 opener, falling 36-33 in overtime as 6.5-point home underdogs.  The team is just one of nine in the country that has committed just one turnover so far in 2011.  Last year, Colorado was outscored in the last two minutes of each half by a combined 60-26 score, but that has changed in just three games this year, holding an early edge of 17-14.  Colorado is 14-12 ATS and 2-0 ATS as a road underdog of 14.5 to 17 points.

The Buffaloes have lost a school-record 18 consecutive road games.  Five of those losses have been by a touchdown or less.  Colorado has some players that hail from the state of Ohio, including running back Rodney Stewart, which will make Saturday an exciting experience.  “I just have to keep my head straight,” commented Stewart during the week.  “I might cut my phone off this week but it’s going to be a big game.”  Colorado exceeded 100 yards on the ground for the first time last week, running for 145 yards.

Ohio State is 3-1 all-time against Colorado and 55-26-2 all-time against current member from the Pac-12 Conference.  The Buckeyes will be looking to bounce back from a 24-6 loss to the Miami Hurricanes as two-point road underdogs.  The biggest news around the program this week was falling out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 20, 2004.  Dominating opponents at Ohio Stadium has been the case for the program since 2002, posting a 54-5 home record over that span.  Ohio State is 21-7 ATS over the last two-plus campaigns.

The Buckeyes have been very efficient in the red zone, scoring on 9 of 11 opportunities.  Ohio State’s offensive line also gave up its first sack of the season against Miami, which ended the nation’s third-longest active streak with 95 consecutive pass attempts without allowing a sack.  Quarterback problems ultimately sank the team last week, as neither Joe Bauserman or Braxton Miller were successful under center, completing just four passes for 35 yards.  Until the loss at Miami, the Buckeyes had not allowed consecutive foes to put up 300 yards of offense in seven years.

Bettors will likely back  the Buffaloes due to their 5-2 ATS mark in September, while the Buckeyes are 1-2 ATS in 2011.

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