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Ohio State vs. Minnesota College Football Week 1 Picks and Predictions

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Ohio State vs. Minnesota College Football Week 1 Picks and Predictions
Running back Mohamed Ibrahim #24 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers breaks a tackle against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on December 12, 2020. Steven Branscombe/Getty Images/AFP

The NCAA Football season is finally back. It may only be Week 1 action, but after having a short one last year, I’ll take all the football I can get my grubby hands on.

This Thursday we have the defending Big Ten Champion, Ohio State Buckeyes, visiting the feisty Minnesota Golden Gophers. Let’s see what the college football odds are for this game.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Thursday, September 02, 2021 – 08:00 PM EDT at Huntington Bank Stadium

The Buckeyes Are Replacing a Lot of Talent

Ohio State has been dominant in the Big Ten for quite some time now. They are simply dominant in the conference. They won it last year and advanced to the National Championship game, before losing to Alabama.

They will be good, no doubt. I do think they could have some issues early, though, because they are losing a lot of starters from last year.

First and foremost is last year’s sensational starting quarterback, Justin Fields. They lost a lot of defensive talent as well.

It puts the Buckeyes in a position where they have to integrate new talent with the returning guys, as well as figure out who is the best quarterback on their roster. They’ll get there but could struggle early.

Justin Fields #1 was selected, in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP

Can Minnesota Bounce Back?

Head Coach P.J. Fleck led Minnesota to a very good 2019 season, before regressing in the shortened 2020 campaign. The Gophers went 3-4 last year, but have a lot of talent returning.

Mohamed Ibrahim is a 1,000-yard rusher and looks like he will be a real threat on the offensive side of the ball for the Gophers.

It will also help if quarterback Tanner Morgan can take another step forward. If so, the Gophers could be a real contender in the Big Ten. They have talent, an excellent head coach in Fleck, and a win here could build some real confidence.

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The Pick

I expect Ohio State to be a top Big Ten team, as always, by the end of the year. Right now, though, in Week One, I think there could be some continuity issues integrating new players to the system. Minnesota, on the other hand, will come out at home looking for a big win.

I don’t know if they will get it, but I do think they can keep this close so I like them for my NCAAF pick.

NCAAF Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.