The Ohio State Buckeyes are the popular NCAAF pick for Saturday’s opener against the Nebraska Cornhuskers – but the weather gods might have other plans.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday 24th October 2020 (12:00 p.m. ET, FOX) at Ohio Stadium, Columbus
Nobody wanted Big Ten football to happen more than the Ohio State Buckeyes. They went to the College Football Playoff last year, and according to Bovada’s NCAAF odds at press time (visit our Bovada review), the Buckeyes are tied with Alabama as +300 second favorites (behind Clemson at +120) to win it all this year. So even with all the chaos this COVID-19 season brings to the table, it’s no wonder the early action is hot and heavy for OSU in Saturday’s home opener versus the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The weather isn’t so hot and heavy, though. Saturday’s forecast calls for light rain to fall on the Horseshoe that morning before turning overcast by kick-off, with temperatures in the low 50s. Field conditions might be tricky for both teams, which would make it harder for Ohio State to cover as 27-point home faves as offered at Heritage – up a point from the open. Do we respond by putting the ‘Huskers in our Week 8 college football picks? Or do we take Under 65.5 at BetOnline instead? Decisions, decisions.
Logic 101: The Best Bird Course Ever
We could always take both, of course. The underdog-Under parlay is both bread and butter when it comes to sharp combo bets, especially when there’s a big point spread on board; as scores get lower, it gets harder for the favorites to cover those spreads. This isn’t a low-scoring matchup on paper (therefore the 65.5-point total), but slick conditions at Ohio Stadium would play right into our hands.
This is also the first game for both clubs, and once upon a time, it was proper to pound the Under for season-openers. The logic was that offenses need more reps to work out the kinks, while the defenses are fresh and full of energy. That’s not what happened in the NFL this year, but in the FBS, the Under went 5-4 in Week 1 and 13-7 in Week 2 during the staggered schedule roll-out. Maybe it’s the COVID; maybe the college zebras are still calling offensive holding penalties correctly. The Over has gone 78-58 since the beginning of Week 3, by the way. Logic wins again.
The Frost Report
We need logic even more for this matchup, given how little data we have to work with. The projections for Nebraska-Ohio State are all over the map, so we won’t even quote them here; not only is this the 2020 opener for both teams, they’ve only faced each other twice since Scott Frost took over the ‘Huskers program in 2018. The Buckeyes won both games, splitting the cash and driving the Under to the pay window each time.
Don’t forget: Fans will not be allowed into the Horseshoe for Saturday’s game (in theory). Nor will the band play, nor will there be any tailgaiting outside the stadium. We’re not going to recommend more than a fun-sized bet in this weird situation, but we’re leaning towards the Under here at the home office – the Buckeyes do have some extra energy to burn after being bottled up for the past seven weeks. Bring on the drizzle, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.