College Football Picks: Ohio State vs. Northwestern

Joe Freda

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 6:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 6:42 PM UTC

The Ohio State Buckeyes held off the Wisconsin Badgers in last week’s 31-24 victory, ‘pushing’ against the closing number as seven-point home ‘chalk'. Let's tune in for the betting odds on this game.

Saturday’s sports betting has Urban Meyer’s squad meeting the unbeaten Northwestern Wildcats, who host the battle off a bye week.

Buckeyes, Miller top Badgers

Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller threw for a season-high 198 yards in last Saturday’s win, while tossing four touchdowns. Ohio State’s Philly Brown was found for two of the scores, finishing with a season-high 85 receiving yards on eight catches. 

Miller tacked on 83 rushing yards as part of 22 keepers, moving the chains for 21 first downs in his side’s 30 minutes of possession. The Buckeyes committed no turnovers, while the contest’s combined 55 points ducked UNDER the closing ‘total’ of 56.

Ohio State’s defense allowed 399 total yards, with 295 coming through the air. Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby grabbed an interception, while Wisconsin was held to a 3-for-12 mark on third-down conversions. 

Wildcats look ahead at home 

Northwestern has been idle since Sept. 21, escaping with a 35-21 victory over the Maine Black Bears. The Wildcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but allowed three late scores to give a cashed ticket for my followers backing Maine.

Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter notched a combined 123 yards of passing and rushing, finding wide out Tony Jones for his side’s first touchdown. Northwestern’s Mike Trumpy dashed for 94 yards out of the backfield, logging a season-high 17 carries. 

Wildcats mates Damien Proby and Dean Lowry returned one interception each for touchdowns, while the battle’s 56 points dipped UNDER the ‘total’ of 58 ½. Northwestern was flagged for five penalties (45 yards), while its offense went 7-for-14 on third downs through 27 minutes of possession.

Back the Buckeyes as road ‘chalk’

Bet365 opened Ohio State as a 5 ½-point road favorite, with initial wagers quickly lifting the number to seven. The weather forecast in Evanston calls for 66 degrees, with 13 mph winds and a 45 percent chance of thunderstorms. 

I am tailing the early ‘steam’ here, adding Ohio State as road ‘chalk’ to Saturday’s NCAAF picks.

Ohio State has piled in 48.2 PPG, including a sizable 52-34 victory in its sole road spot against the California Bears as a 12 ½-point favorite. The Buckeyes are riding a 7-0-1 ATS run in spots that followed their last eight victories, while notching a 4-0 spread record in their last four meetings with the Wildcats. 

Northwestern has seen its octane start to decrease over the team’s last pair of contests, resulting in a 0-2 ATS mark. The Wildcats have been held to 10 PPG in their last two home matchups with Ohio State, dating back to 2006.

Ohio State survived a tough test in last week’s victory and should be able to run it up more here, catching the Wildcats looking ahead for too long. Northwestern has had this duel circled, but has come away with SU losses in its last three years of battles that fell after a bye week.

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Look for the Buckeyes to keep surging into mid-season form here, adding another cashed ticket to a 5-2 spread record over their last seven October matchups.

Free Pick:  Ohio State Buckeyes -7 at Bet365

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