NCAA Football Picks: Buffalo vs. Ohio State
Let's be real here for a moment. None of us have seen a glimpse of either team since Ohio State walked off the field as 26-21 victors over Michigan and Buffalo bowed to Bowling Green 21-7 to wrap the 2012 season. Hell, most of us never saw Buffalo at all last season which leads me to my point.
This is the first game of the year, but even the casual fan knows that Buffalo has a better chance of defeating Harvard in a debating match than beating OSU on their home turf (or anyone else's turf for that matter). However, that's why the almighty gave us point spreads and with enough points, any team can overcome their obvious disadvantages. But how many is enough? As of this writing the consensus of offshore books have the Buckeyes as 36 point favorites in their NCAA football odds. Hell, that's five touchdowns plus a point!
Sounds like plenty to me, but in college football, margin of victory is important because teams get ranked. So before you manufacture an opinion about a team you never saw play last year and one that has yet to play a down this season, remember there is an entire season to craft cogent opinions based on actual game footage. Let's be cautious and start drinking after the game kicks off not before so you (or your buddies) don't warp your sense of reality and believe there's an actual sharp side to this or any other game on opening day.
Okay there, I've said it and you've been warned. Now I can relay the fruits of my due diligence with a clean conscience. Ohio State will start the season off with a win but getting the cover might be another story.
That's no offense, as in no offense, but you have no offense. And the Buffalo Bulls pretty much fit that description last season as they were ranked 99th in points scored and 95th in passing yards/game. Their run game was their primary offensive weapon, averaging 176 yards per game which ranked them 47th in the nation.
Their defense was middling at best for this little MAC East team as they allowed 363 total yards/game (37th) but surrendered 28 ½ points per game which put them in the lower half of all college football teams.
The Buckeyes were undefeated last season but were serving a one year ban from the postseason for some naughty deeds committed a few years earlier. How about going 12-0 and not being able to vie for a national championship? Kind of like a kamikaze pilot wearing a helmet - what's the point?
Anyway, Urban Myer took over for the disgraced Jim Tressel and went unbeaten in his inaugural season with the Buckeyes but now he has a big trophy to shoot for and there is no doubt he will have his team loaded for bear...or bull as the case may be. Ohio State was ranked 21st in points and were the number 10 rushing team in the nation. They do not sport the aerial attacks of the more vaunted offenses but when you've got a solid defense and a relentless ground game, setting up the pass with the run isn't such a bad option.
Okay, I'll buy into the hype machine and cast my lot with the millions of squares who will swear OSU is a lock on opening day. The Buckeyes will run as often as they choose and Buffalo will have to abandon the run and revert to the pass which is far from their strong suit once the game falls out of reach.
Don't go crazy, because 36 points ain't chicken feed to cover but if you want to get down on this one for your NCAA football picks then play OSU and lay the 36.
NCAA football pick: Ohio State -36 at bet 365