Ohio State Buckeyes at Iowa Hawkeyes
Saturday, 11/20/10, 3:30 PM EDT, TV: ABC
Opening Point Spread: Ohio State -3.5
Current Betting Line: Ohio State -3
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 48
Current Moneyline: Ohio State -155 / Iowa +135
Ohio State can take a big step toward the Big Ten championship with a win at Iowa on Saturday and will remain a major player for a Bowl Championship Series bowl bid. “We have a huge challenge having to play at Iowa,” said wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. “Iowa is a team that has made its reputation as a tough team.” The Buckeyes have won 42 of their last 47 Big Ten conference games and lead the conference and rank second nationally in total defense by allowing just 238 yards per game. The team’s offense is also a major player, scoring 41.6 points per game, which is also leading the league and ranks sixth in the country. Ohio State is 8-2 ATS this season and 15-7 ATS against conference opponents the past three years. The college football lines page has them as a small road favorite this weekend.
The Buckeyes have almost always played well at Kinnick Stadium, winning six of the their last seven at the venue. “It’ll be a dogfight,” said quarterback Terrelle Pryor. “We went to overtime last year.” Pryor needs just 78 yards rushing to reach 2,000 for his career and he’s tied for the Big Ten lead with 22 touchdown passes. Ohio State has a 67-47-6 all-time mark in final road games, including a 7-2 record under head coach Jim Tressel. Under Tressel, the Buckeyes are 38-14 overall and 13-7 on the road against ranked opponents.
Iowa is 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten this season and will be playing its 63rd game against the visiting Buckeyes to close out its home schedule. “The Big Ten race, obviously we’re out of that,” quarterback Ricky Stanzi commented. “I don’t know. We’ve just got to go on to the next game.” Many conference experts believe that the Hawkeyes season has been a failure due to the lofty expectations that were placed on the team during the summer. “This stuff about other people’s expectations – our responsibility is not to live up to anyone else’s expectations,” said head coach Kirk Ferentz. “Do the best we can do. That’s how we try to evaluate and assess where we’re at.” The team is 5-1 ATS the last three years off a loss against a conference rival.
The Hawkeyes have defeated three ranked teams this season, including Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State. Two of Iowa’s losses have been at the hands of ranked teams, dropping games to both Arizona and Wisconsin. Iowa will likely get up for this game due to winning 49 of its last 59 games in Kinnick Stadium dating back to the 2002 season, including a 5-1 mark during this season. In order to pull off the mild upset, Iowa must start scoring points again, after managing to combine for 35 points against Indiana and Northwestern.
Bettors will find that the Buckeyes are 23-5 ATS in their last 28 road games versus a team with a winning home record, while the Hawkeyes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as a home underdog.
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