It Will Be Closer Than Experts Think in Sooners at Buckeyes Showdown

sooners buckeyes

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 6:28 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2017 6:28 PM UTC

On a Saturday night just stuffed with great college football action, the No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 2 Ohio State showdown is expected be the best one of all. And like last year, there is an air of mystery surrounding on how both teams might play.

Ohio State had multiple defensive problems with a better-than-anticipated Indiana passing offense in Week 1 and needed a late rally to win and cover. Oklahoma has new head coach in Lincoln Riley and questions at wide receiver, and all quarterback Baker Mayfield does is go 19-for-20 for 329 yards in burying UTEP 56-7.

For this ABC national telecast, the college football odds have the No. 2 Buckeyes as tricky 7.5-point home favorites with a total of 64.5 presently over the No. 5 Sooneres. How should we be looking at this contest?


No. 2 Ohio State Wins & Covers By ...

The Buckeyes won easily a year ago ramming the ball down Oklahoma's throat for 291 rushing yards in stunningly easy 45-24 victory at Norman. Quarterback J.T. Barrett is not a natural pocket passer, and while he ended up throwing for 305 yards last week it was only after the running game started to churn in the second half was he more relaxed and accurate. The matchup of the night is the Ohio State defensive line vs. the Sooners offensive line, and if the Buckeyes can get in Mayfield's grill they can take command of this contest.


No. 5 Oklahoma Covers & Pulls Possible Upset By ...

Taking Hoosiers QB Richard Lagow's lead. Indiana should have a very good passing offense and it sliced and diced the Ohio State secondary for 410 yards. Mayfield and Oklahoma are capable of keeping the pressure up for four quarters, which could place Coach Urbay Meyer's team in peril. If the Sooners O-Line can create a stalemate with their defensive counterpart in the trenches and average even 4.1 yards a carry, that helps the passing offense. The Oklahoma defense is not going to stop the Ohio State running game. Instead, what they need to do is place them in third and long as often as possible and make Barrett stand in the pocket and force him to beat them throwing the ball downfield.


What To Watch For & Outcome

For college football picks, in a game like this the half point hook on a key number like 7 has value unless one is convinced Ohio State really has the superior outfit. Though Meyer is 7-0 ATS against Big 12 foes, Oklahoma has numerous weapons to keep this contest close and is 11-3 ATS after gaining 525 or more total yards in its previous game. Ohio State winning would not catch anyone off guard, but I see a tight 3-4 point confrontation in Columbus.

Free NCAAF Pick: Sooners +7.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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