College Football Picks: Defenses to Dominate in Monday's Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech Game

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, September 5, 2015 4:12 PM GMT

Can the Hokies spring the upset over Ohio St. for the 2nd. consecutive season? Will Ohio St. come out of the gate like the dominant team they’re expected to be? Find the answers inside & a free pick.

Props Offered by:  5Dimes | BetOnline | BookMaker | Bovada | Heritage | GTbets | WagerWeb | SportsBetting | BetDSI

Ohio State To Score First:   -195  (best line at BetOnline)
Virginia Tech To Score First +170 (best line at Bookmaker)
Score in first 6 minutes: -150  (best line at WagerWeb)
No Score in first 6 minutes: +125 (best line at Bovada)
1st Half Highest Score:  -115  (best line at 5Dimes)
2H + OT Highest Score: +103  (best line at BetDSI)
All Touchdowns by Offense: -145 (best line at 5Dimes)
Spec. Team or Defense TD +120 (best at Bookmaker)

Buckeyes and Hokies on Labor Day Night
In what will be arguably be the most anticipated game of college football's opening week, Virginia Tech hosts defending national champion Ohio State on Monday. Kickoff at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg is slated for 8:00 PM ET. According to current (9/3) college football betting odds at major sportsbooks, Ohio State is a consensus 11.0 point road favorite, and the total ranges from 52.5 to 53.0.



Dominant Defenses
The defenses of these respective teams will be amongst the very best on a national scale for this upcoming season. Although the Buckeyes gave up their share of points at times last season, the defense was clutch when they needed to be. If it weren't for the Hokies defense last season, they would've been hard pressed to be bowl eligible. Both teams return a plethora of defensive studs.

 

Stacked Buckeyes Defense
The Ohio State stop unit will be led by preseason first team All American defensive end Joey Bosa. All Bosa did last season was record 13.0 sacks and was credited with 7.5 tackles for a loss. Unfortunately Bosa will be suspended for the Buckeyes season opener. They also return their 2014-2015 leading tackler Joshua Perry. The Buckeye linebacker was credited with a whopping 124 tackles on the year. One other defensive player of note is safety Vonn Bell who had 6 interceptions and was second on the team with 92 tackles.

 

The Bud Foster Factor
Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster is one of college football’s highest paid defensive coordinators and for good reason. His Hokies defenses are annually one of the best in various statistical categories. Foster will have 8 starters returning from a stop unit that allowed an average of just 20 points and 344 yards per game a season ago. Included in those defensive performances was an outstanding effort at Ohio State in which they stonewalled the Buckeyes offense, and were an integral part of a huge upset against the eventual national champions. With an experienced defense, and with an entire offseason to scheme for Ohio State, the Hokies defense will be well prepared for this monumental task of neutralizing an explosive Buckyeyes offense.

 

Final Analysis
The Virginia Tech offense is going to need some semblance of a running game to have a chance of pulling an upset. If they don’t, becoming one dimensional against an Ohio State defense that returns seven starters from a unit that recorded 45 sacks last year is a recipe for disaster. The Hokies will be far from an explosive offensive team this season, and will need to overcompensate for that flaw by being efficient. Contrarily, the Hokies defense amassed 48 sacks last season, and their two top players in that category both return. Defensive linemen Dadi Nicolas (9.0 sacks) and Ken Ekanem (9.5 sacks) are both highly disruptive players that regularly torment opposing offenses.

I like this game to be a low scoring affair in respect to this posted total. One of my college football picks for the opening week will be indicative of that prediction.

College Football Picks: Play on Ohio State & Virginia Tech under 53.0 (-110) at Bet365.