College Football Week 1 Predictions: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Navy Midshipmen

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Navy Midshipmen
Saturday, 8/30/14, 12:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -12.5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -14.5
Opening Total:  57.5
Current Total:  55.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Navy Midshipmen are dangerous underdogs in Week 1
The Navy Midshipmen are dangerous underdogs in Week 1

Ohio State enters Saturday afternoon with the nation’s longest regular-season winning streak at 24 games, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA football lines, especially since it has won all four all-time meetings in this particular series.  The Buckeyes have also captured 33 of their last 35 season openers, while Urban Meyer hasn’t received a blemish in 12 lid lifters as a major collegiate head coach.  It’s important to point out that No. 1 quarterback Braxton Miller has been lost for the season with a injury to his throwing shoulder, which means that redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett will take over under center.

The Buckeyes have an inexperienced offensive line, with the group having a combined 20 starts—the second fewest in the country behind only the Tennessee Volunteers.  Ohio State’s roster now includes 37 returning lettermen from last season’s 12-2 team that played in the Big Ten championship game and the Discover Orange Bowl.  Defensive coordinator Luke Fickell has some major playmakers to work with, including first-team All-Big Ten performer Noah Spence, who racked up 14.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks.

Navy’s last victory over a team ranked in the top 25 came on Nov. 7, 2009, as it prepares for this high-profile matchup at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.  The Midshipmen are 8-4 SU in season openers during the triple-option era, including a 3-3 mark under head coach Ken Niumatalolo.  All eyes will be on starting quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who has registered a 15-6 SU mark in that situation.  One of his four losses in 2013 was when he was injured in the second quarter at Western Kentucky.

The Midshipmen have never finished lower than sixth in the country in rushing yards per game over the last 12 years, which is important to consider when making your Week 1 college football predictions.  Navy scored on 53 of its 61 possessions in the red zone last year, with Reynolds being the main reason for that success.  It also took great care of the football in finishing tied for first nationally in committing just 10 turnovers.

Sports bettors will likely back the Midshipmen due to the Buckeyes being 2-6 ATS as favorites of 10.5 to 21 points since 2012.

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