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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Odds - Free Pick

Ohio State Buckeyes (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-3 SU, 3-1 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 4
Date/Time: Saturday, September 30 at 7:30PM EST
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium
TV: BTN
by Evergreen, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: OSU -29.5/RUTG +29.5
Over/Under Total: 52

It certainly doesnít feel very fall-like with summer temps continuing through the end of September but we are already a month into the NCAA Football season and that means it is time to start the business of winning conferences. The Ohio State Buckeyes opened with Big Ten foe Indiana so they are one win deep in a bid to win their side of the conference. They travel to Rutgers this weekend to tilt with the Scarlet Knights who are dipping their toe in the Big Ten pool for the second time as well after facing Nebraska last week. Ohio State has gone head-to-head with Rutgers on three occasions since the Knights joined the Big Ten and none of the three games have been close. The Buckeyes have won by scores of 56-17, 49-7 and 58-0 in those meetings and they will need another similiar end result if they are going to get a win against the spread this Saturday.

It should come as no surprise that both Vegas and the online betting sites have OSU listed as heavy favorites. Rutgers is on the board at +29.5 as they face the 9th ranked Buckeyes and the over/under total is almost universally at 52 points. Even with a loss, Ohio State enters as the 4th rated team according to the Sagarin Computer Rankings with Rutgers at 98th. The Sagarin offense-defense model is calling for a 43-6 Ohio State win and that 6 being given to Rutgers is one of the lowest totals among Power-5 teams. The Scarlet Knights did drop their opener to Washington but earned an easy ATS win as they were able to keep the margin to 16 and got another ATS win last week as they kept close with Nebraska. They seem a bit more capable of keeping up with the Big Ten chalk than in years past.

It has been more of the same in 2017 for Ohio State as four weeks have produced three relatively easy wins and one quality loss against Oklahoma. If they were able to beat the Sooners, we would be talking about them walking to the college playoff but the Buckeyes find themselves facing a long streak of must-wins games if they want to stay in the conversation for the final four. The offense has certainly been firing on all cylinders with OSU averaging a 9th best, 549 total yards per game. They are top-25 in both rushing and passing averages and have netted 39.2 points per game. The defense has been the culprit in three ATS losses thus far as the Buckeye D ranks no better than 39th in key metrics and they are outside the top-55 in the main yardage allowed categories. They enter as the 56th ranked overall defense and †have a pedestrian 11 sacks through four weeks. OSU is allowing a 34% conversion rate on third down which sounds okay but they would prefer to be a bit closer to the 19% Michigan gives up as the NCAA leader in that category.

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Rutgers has been much of the opposite with a pretty dreadful offense through four games but a very respectable defensive effort overall. The offense is outside the top-110 in passing yards and total yards per game and their 27.2 points per game mark is artificially inflated after a 65-0 win against Morgan State. Take that game out and the Knights are at 16 points per game and those yardage totals get closer to the very bottom of the NCAA overall ranks. The defense has not been a playmaking unit with just three sacks so far but Rutgers is no worse than 37th in yards allowed for any category and have given up just 18.2 points per game. Ohio State is probably head-and-shoulders ahead of anything Rutgers has seen so far so we will have to see if that defense can turn in another quality game.

J.T. Barrett runs the Buckeye show and has thrown for 966 yards and ten touchdowns thus far, adding 174 yards on the ground with two more scores. Does Rutgers have an answer for him? Not likely but Barrett will have to be on spot to turn just about every scoring chance into seven points or that 30-point line will tough to erase. Freshman J.K. Dobbins is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and has three scores as the lead back while Mike Weber battled a hamstring injury. Weber is likely to play this weekend which gives OSU another potential playmaker. Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill both lead OSU with 18 receptions. Campbell takes the top off the defense and averages 17.9 yards per catch while Hill has done the possession work. Kyle Bolin calls the shots for Rutgers but he has been turnover prone with six interceptions against three touchdowns. Johnathan Lewis brings a running dimension under center and has four scores already on just thirteen carries. Rutgers does have five rushing touchdowns from their running backs but the stable is full of plodders for the most part with a 4.2 yards per carry average out of their two main ball carriers. Jerome Washington and Janarion Grant are nice targets but the passing game has mostly been limited by Bolinís inaccuracy.

I think the loss to Oklahoma gives Ohio State the motivation to push the scoring pace in the remaining games and that could factor in this game. A 4-0 Buckeye team might take the foot off the gas at 35-0 but they need all the style points they can get to offset that one in the loss column. Rutgers looks like they have some traction to turning things around but playing up to the OSU level is still a few steps away. All of the relevant playmakers are on the Buckeyes and there really hasnít been any systematic failures that the Knights can key in on. I think the Ohio State defense will start to right their wrongs as the season progresses and this one goes Stateís way with relative ease. Rutgers would need a big play or two, probably on a turnover or return play, and even then, Iím not sure they put enough points on the board to get inside 30. 40-10 seems reasonable, as does 49-14. It might take until the fourth quarter but Ohio State swallows the points with room to spare.

Evergreen's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Ohio State. Bet this game and all your sports bets at 5Dimes! Why should you switch? Because you're being overcharged for odds! Your book is socking you -110. Why pay that hefty price when you can bet at the lower price of -105? This saves you $5 for every $100 you bet and $50 for every $1000 you wager. Added up over time, this amounts to a massive amount of cash you're pissing away. Plus, 5Dimes is simply better. More wagers, teasers up to 20 points, parlays up to 25 teams, faster payouts. It doesn't make any sense to bet anywhere else! Get signed up today by clicking here!

NCAA Football Week 8 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

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.

2017/2018 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 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. 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!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. 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. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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