The undefeated #3 Ohio State Buckeyes will host the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a BIG 10 battle Saturday afternoon from Ohio Stadium. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 48-31 home loss to Iowa, and the Buckeyes tallied a 49-26 home win against Indiana last week. This contest marks the first meeting between these conference foes since 2015 in a game Ohio State won 28-14.
Golden Gophers Fall to 0-2 in Big Ten Play
The Minnesota Golden Gophers head into this tough matchup on the prowl for their first Big 10 win of the season. They struggled defensively in their 48-31 home loss to Iowa last weekend to fall to 0-2 in conference play. Zack Annexstad wasn’t sharp for the second straight game. He tossed three TD’s, however, he also had three passes intercepted, and the freshman QB has accrued 924 passing yards with a 8:5 TD to INT ratio on the year. The Golden Gophers are playing the rest of the season without star running back Rodney Smith, and as a result they have been rotating between Bryce Williams and Mohamed Ibrahim. Williams leads Minnesota with 311 rushing yards, and the absence of Rodney Smith is a huge blow to the Minnesota offense. Gophers’ top receiver Tyler Johnson accumulated another 107 receiving yards last week, and he is up to 402 receiving yards on the year. The Minnesota offense is clearly missing Rodney Smith, and their passing game ranks down at 100th in the country.
Carter Coughlin did his thing, Seth Green did his, and now @GopheFootball is within seven points. pic.twitter.com/6CRRYpbg53
— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) October 6, 2018
The Golden Gophers defense played well in their first four games of the season, although they struggled against Iowa last week, squandering 420 total yards. Their pass defense has been a strength with the exception of last week where they allowed over 300 passing yards. Minnesota’s other conference loss came in the form of a 42-13 road decision to Maryland, and they are currently averaging 27.8 points, ranking them 81st overall. The Golden Gophers defense is holding opponents to 23.4 points, pegging them 42nd in the country.
Buckeyes Flex Offensive Muscle, Remain Undefeated
The Ohio State Buckeyes continued their dominance with a 49-26 home win against Indiana last week to lift their conference record to 3-0. Dwayne Haskins put on a tremendous display, accumulating 455 passing yards with six TD’s. The sophomore QB has tossed at least three TD passes in five of six games, and he is up to 1919 passing yards with a dazzling 25:4 TD to INT ratio. The dynamic duo of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber continue to dominate on the ground, combining for 152 rushing yards last week, and they have rushed for a combined 882 yards on the year. Dobbins leads the Buckeyes with 462 rushing yards. Buckeyes’ leading receiver Parris Campbell is also a big threat, collecting 501 receiving yards and seven TD’s. Ohio State is an offensive powerhouse that ranks in the top 5 in the country in total yards and passing yards.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) October 7, 2018
The Buckeyes defense hasn’t been quite as sharp as their offense, although they are still above average. They conceded 322 passing yards against Indiana, and their pass defense ranks 60th in the nation. Ohio State is a prime contender for a National Championship and they have defeated two ranked teams which included a 27-26 road win against Penn State. They are scoring an average of 49 points, good for sixth in the country. The Buckeyes are allowing an average of 20 points, pegging them 29th overall.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after collecting more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are:
- 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 road games against a team with a winning record.
- 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 280 passing yards in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking Ohio State in this one. Ohio State is an offensive powerhouse that should be able to walk away with a convincing win in this one. Minnesota just surrendered 48 points against a low-scoring Iowa team, and they will have a challenge defending the best offense in the BIG 10 in this one. The Buckeyes are averaging a sizzling 365 passing yards per game and they are up against a Minnesota pass defense that surrendered 314 passing yards last week, and I expect another stellar performance from Buckeyes’ QB Dwayne Haskins who has accumulated 25 TD passes on the season.
Furthermore, the Minnesota offense isn’t strong enough to keep up with the Buckeyes ferocious offense. Freshman QB Zack Annexstad has tossed five interceptions in his last two games, and the Gophers are missing their #1 running back Rodney Smith, and as a result, their rushing offense ranks down at 94th in the country.
Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is also a solid play in this one. Ohio State has accumulated at least 40 points in four out of their five games this season. Minnesota has struggled defensively, allowing over 40 points in each of their BIG 10 games this season, plus the over is 10-4 in the Buckeyes’ last 14 conference games.
Furthermore, the Ohio State defense will give up points. They allowed 26 points on 322 passing yards against Indiana last week, and Minnesota did score 31 points against a strong Iowa defense in their first Big 10 game of the year, plus the over is 4-1 in Minnesota’s last five games following a straight up loss.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Buckeyes should be able to continue their offensive onslaught in this one. Minnesota’s defense has been exposed in BIG 10 play, surrendering 42 points against Maryland in their conference opener, followed by 48 points against Iowa last week. In addition, Minnesota’s standout safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is out for the season due to injury, and his absence is noticeable.
Prediction: Buckeyes Team Total: Over
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking Ohio State on the halftime line as well. The Buckeyes have piled on the points in the first half this season, ranking second in the nation with an average of 28 points in the first half. In addition, Minnesota surrendered 28 points in the first half on their home field against Iowa last week, and they will have a difficult time stopping the Buckeyes powerhouse offense throughout this game.
Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes -18.5
Half-Time Total Bet
The over on the halftime total is a solid option. Minnesota has been productive in the first half this season, ranking 34th in the country with an average of 18 points. As mentioned, the Buckeyes are averaging 28 points in the first half this season, and a stunning 39.7 points in the first half on their home field.
Prediction: Over 32.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking the Buckeyes on the first quarter line. Ohio State is averaging a stunning 18.7 points in the first quarter in their three home games on the season. In addition, Minnesota is squandering an average of 14 points in the first quarter in their last three games. The Buckeyes should be in control in this one from start to finish.
Prediction: Ohio State First Quarter Line