Big Ten Title Pick: Northwestern vs. Ohio State
Northwestern Wildcats (6-1 SU, 5-1-1 ATS) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 3-2), 12/19/20
Time: 12:00 PM ET Saturday, Dec. 19
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium
Point spread: NW +20.5/Ohio St -20.5 (BetAnySports - Question! Why bet on games at -110 when you only have to lay -105 at BAS?)
It doesn’t happen often, but the Big Ten got something right when it matched Ohio State against Northwestern for Saturday afternoon’s Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. The Wildcats won the Big Ten West fair and square, and the Buckeyes, despite a challenge from Indiana, were the best team in the East. Ohio State is favored by almost three touchdowns for this game; who do we like for our free college football pick?
College Football Betting Odds
Big Ten championship game betting odds opened Ohio State at -20 over Northwestern, with an over/under of 59.5. Early betting action then bumped the Buckeyes to -20.5 and dipped that total to 57.5.
According to Sagarin’s ratings at USAToday.com, Ohio State should be favored by 20 points for this game.
Big Ten Championship Game Betting Preview
Northwestern won the Big Ten West this season at 6-1. The Wildcats started 5-0, with a come-from-behind victory over what turned out to be a pretty good Iowa team. Three games ago, Northwestern defeated rival Wisconsin 17-7, then suffered a letdown and lost at Michigan State 29-20. But the ‘Cats bounced back last week to beat rival Illinois 28-10 and cover as 13-point favorites.
Northwestern spotted the Illini an early field goal but led 14-3 at the half. The Wildcats then drove their first two possessions of the second half 75 and 81 yards to touchdowns to pull away.
Northwestern actually only out-gained three of its seven opponents this season, although it also out-rushed four of those seven foes.
The Wildcats’ most formidable opponent this season was Iowa. Northwestern fell behind in that game 17-0 in the first quarter, then rallied to win 21-20.
Ohio State won the Big Ten East this season at 5-0. The Buckeyes were supposed to play a few more games but didn’t. But they won the one that really mattered, three weeks ago against Indiana, and played their last game two weeks ago, pounding Michigan State 52-12. OSU then had last week’s scheduled game with Michigan canceled.
Big Ten brains then came together and granted the Buckeyes the division title, despite Ohio State’s limited slate of games.
The Buckeyes bounced out to a 28-0 halftime lead on the Spartans two weeks ago and rolled from there for the win and the cover as 21-point favorites.
Ohio State out-gained every opponent this season by at least 117 yards and out-rushed every foe, three of them by triple digits.
The Buckeyes’ toughest opponent this season was the Hoosiers. Ohio State led that game 35-7 in the third quarter but took its foot off the gas, won 42-35 but lost ATS as a 21-point favorite.
These teams played two common opponents this season; the Buckeyes beat Nebraska 52-17 and, as mentioned, Michigan State 52-12, while the Wildcats beat the Cornhuskers 21-13 but, as mentioned, lost to the Spartans 29-20.
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Northwestern-Ohio State Recent History
The Buckeyes own an eight-game winning streak in the series with Northwestern, going 7-1 ATS along the way. Most recently, Ohio State trounced the Wildcats last season 52-3, covering easily at -27.
However, this year’s Buckeyes team isn’t quite as good as last year’s team, while this Northwestern team is 180 degrees better.
These teams also met in the Big Ten championship game two years ago, a 45-24 Ohio State victory. The Buckeyes led that game 24-7 at the half, let the ‘Cats get within 31-24 but scored the last 14 points of the game to secure the win and the cover at -17.
College Football Betting Trends
- Ohio State is 11-8 ATS in its last 19 games favored by 24 points or less.
- Ohio State is 4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS in Big Ten championship games.
- Northwestern is 2-1 ATS its last three games as a dog of 20-plus points.
Unders are 6-1 in Wildcats games this season, which are averaging 40 total points.
Overs are 3-1-1 in Buckeyes games this season, which are averaging 70 points.
Overs are 6-1 over the last seven meetings between these two teams.
Free College Football Pick
Ohio State is just the better team here and is going to win this game. However, the Buckeyes allowed 25 points to Penn State earlier this season, 27 to Rutgers, and 35 to Indiana. Meanwhile, Northwestern is solid; they can run the ball, they play good defense, and they aren’t turning the ball over. If the Wildcats can just hold the Buckeyes to 31 points or so, or put up 21 themselves, they stand an excellent chance of cashing in. And we like their chances. We’ll take Northwestern and the points here. Football season been rough on you? Supercharge your bankroll with a massive 100% REAL CASH BONUS on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at BetNow Sportsbook!
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