Pick Ohio State Over Kent State in College Football Betting

Darin Zank

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 5:07 PM GMT

The Ohio State Buckeyes, sans Braxton Miller, just got shocked at home by Virginia Tech, suffering their first loss at the Horseshoe under Coach Meyer. OSU is now just 1-6 ATS over its last seven games, heading into Saturday's home date with Kent State (noon ET, ABC). Here's our take on this Buckeye State battle, with a free NCAAF pick.

 

The Ohio State Buckeyes 2014-15 College Football Betting Preview

The Betting Line
As of Tuesday morning most college football odds were chalking Ohio State at -32 over Kent State, although there were a few places that had it at -31.

 

Game Set-Up
Ohio State opened this season with a 34-17 win over Navy in Baltimore, covering as 13-point favorites. But that game was closer than that score might indicate. The Buckeyes actually trailed the Midshipmen 14-13 late into the third quarter, and needed two late scores to cover. OSU then lost at home to the Hokies last Saturday 35-21, losing outright as 10-point chalk. The Buckeyes never led that game, managed just 108 yards on the ground and turned the ball over three times.

OSU had gone 15-0 SU, 8-7 ATS at home under Meyer, until last week.

With the loss of Miller just before the season started Ohio State returned just 11 starters from a team that went 12-2 last year. Only three starters were back on offense, after the losses of last year's leading rusher, leading receiver and four along the offensive line. But seven starters were back on defense, including six on what should be a great front seven.  

Kent State, meanwhile, opened this season with a 17-14 loss at home to Ohio, losing outright as field-goal favorites. The Flashes then lost at home to South Alabama 23-13, falling as two-point home dogs. Kent State got out-gained by the Bobcats 437-295, but didn't lose until Ohio hit a field goal at the buzzer. The Flashes then got out-gained by the Jaguars 347-277 but only trailed by a field goal until South Alabama iced the game with a touchdown with a minute to go.

So far this season the Golden Flashes have run the ball 50 times for a total of 95 yards. That does not bode well for going against the Ohio State front four.

Kent State returned 14 starters this season from a team that went 4-8 last year. Seven starters were back on offense, including the starting QB, last year's leading rusher and receiver and three along the offensive line. And seven starters returned on defense, including four of last year's top six tacklers.

Kent State head coach Paul Haynes knows a little about what goes on at Ohio State, having served as an assistant for the Buckeyes from 2005-11. Any insight he might have might come in handy.

These programs last met back in 2007, a 48-3 Ohio State victory as 31-point chalk.

Ohio State Buckeyes' College Football Season Win Total Picks

Flashes-Buckeyes Betting Trends
Ohio State is 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS against the MAC under Coach Meyer. But the Buckeyes are also just 2-4 ATS the last six times they've been favored by 30 points or more.

Kent State was dogged by 30-plus points once last year, and covered, losing at LSU 45-13 as 36-point dogs.

 

College Football Pick: If we thought the Golden Flashes could score 10 points, maybe even 14, we'd think about taking Kent State plus the points. But the Flashes have scored 27 points total against Ohio and South Alabama, so 10 points might be hard to come by Saturday. And Ohio State should be out for blood, after losing at home last week. So while we don't often give such big numbers, our free college football pick here is on the Buckeyes at 5Dimes. 

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