California Bears (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. No. 12 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday, September 15th, 2012/12:00 p.m. EST
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cal +17/OSU -17
Over/Under Total: 52.5
The 12th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will look to keep romping through the early non-Big 10 season when they welcome the California Bears of the PAC-12 into the Horseshoe of Ohio Stadium Saturday on ABC.
The Buckeyes and new coach Urban Meyer’s offense continues to look like the perfect style of play for sophomore Braxton Miller, as Miller ran for 141 yards and three scores and added 155 yards and a touchdown passing in Ohio State’s, 31-16, win over Central Florida last Saturday. Through two games Miller and the Buckeyes offense has scored 87 points, and with a California team that gave up 31 points to Southern Utah last week coming to the Shoe, that number is sure to grow.
California did score their first win of the season last week against that Southern Utah squad, 50-31, and to be fair, 14 of the 31 points they gave up came in the final five minutes of play in mop-up time. But the Bears were outplayed and upset by Nevada in their opener two weeks ago (31-24, Nevada scored game-winner with 44 seconds left), so it’s not so encouraging that the Bears needed three quarters to put away the T-Birds from the FCS one week after a “mid-major” dumped them in their opener.
With the Buckeyes clearly improving and the Bears struggling out of the gate, oddsmakers set the opening point spread for Saturday’s Big 10-PAC-12 clash with Ohio State as 13.5-point favorites at home. But after a few hours of money raining in on the Buckeyes, the number quickly shot up to -17 at most sportsbooks as fans are equally in love with the new Buckeyes and are running away in droves from Cal.
The over/under total is only live at a few of the bigger sportsbooks on the Internet so far like 5Dimes, but the scant few that are open are listing 52.5 as the opening total.
I have to say I am a bit surprised by the low-50s total, because as mentioned previously, Cal is having a hell of a time stopping anyone on defense right now. The Buckeyes Miller is quickly turning into one of the best duel-threat QBs in the college game, and the fact that the Bears have given up 220 yards rushing (3.9 per carry) to Nevada and 103 yards (3.9 per) to Southern Utah doesn’t exactly build confidence that they’re going to stop the Buckeyes ground attack by Saturday.
Meanwhile, Cal should be able to get its offense going since both QB Zach Maynard and his half-brother WR Keenan Allen are back for the Bears. However, the Buckeyes should also be able to stop Cal easily by doubling Allen and pressuring Maynard. When and if that becomes the case, the Bears will desperately need RB Isi Sofele (104 yards, TD) to get big yards on early downs if the Bears hope to move the chains with consistency.
Plus, chances are the game could get a little sloppy. Ohio State had three turnovers and 10 penalties last week against Central Florida. While Cal has had 19 penalties and four turnovers in their two games thus far.
These two schools have never met on the gridiron, so there is no history to use to handicap this contest. However, there are a few betting trends to note for this game to use as a guide.
Cal has had success versus Big 10 teams in the past (5-1 ATS in L6), but they’ve also struggled in non-conference games (1-4 ATS in L5 ) and on the road (2.8 ATS in L10). Ohio State on the other hand has been solid versus the PAC-12 in past seasons (8-1-1 ATS in L10), and since most of their non-conference games are played at home in the Horseshoe their non-conference record (12-4 ATS in L16) is also pretty stellar.
The over/under trends depend on which team you follow. Cal is stocked full of over trends (over is 6-1 vs. Big 10; 6-2 in non-conf.), while Ohio State is the team full of under trends (under is 6-2 in non-conf.; 6-2 vs. PAC-12).
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The college football season has already been filled with improbable upsets this year, but I just don’t think the Bears have a strong enough defense to go on the road and beat the Buckeyes in the Shoe. I really like the over of 52.5 for this game, but I also think the Buckeyes will prevail in the end and cover the number at home. Take Ohio State minus the 17 points.
Are you still betting with a corner bookie? Find out why online is the better choice by reading our piece titled Betting Online vs. The Corner Street Bookie.
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2016/2017 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2017 National Championship game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9th.
2016 Heisman Trophy Predictions - DeShaun Watson is favored to win the award at +575 with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (+575) and LSU RB Leonard Fournette (+850) close behind. However, the real value may be with Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman at 40/1.
2016-2017 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the National Championship as a 4-horse race which includes Bama at +665, Clemson +725, LSU +900 and Ohio State +1075. Teams on teh bubble include Oklahoma at +1200, Michigan +1300 and FSU at +1350. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!
MyBookie - Get a HUGE 50% bonus (up to $1000 FREE!) after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
Bookmaker - Offers a HUGE 50% sign up bonus up to $300! Enjoy LIVE college football betting where you can jump into the action at any time during the game and place a bet! This gives you a huge advantage!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - Clemson QB DeShaun Watson will have the ball in his hands a TON and he plays on a good team so he's the obvious favorite to win the award this year at +575. Leonard Fournette at 8.5/1 looks like he could play in the NFL right now. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. It's unlikely to happen as offensive players usually win this honor, but Michigan DB Jabrill Peppers (75-1) and Texas AM DT Myles Garret (110-1) could be in the running as well. It might be a good year to bet more than one prediction!
Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!