Florida Atlantic Owls vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Pick 8/31/19
Florida Atlantic Owls (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
When: Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 12:00 PM ET
Where: Ohio Stadium - Columbus, Ohio
Point Spread: FAU +27.5 / BUCKS -27.5 (SportBet)
Poll Rankings: Ohio State -28
Takeaways From 2018-2019 Regular Season
After rampaging through the Conference USA in the 2017-2018 season, the Owls of Florida Atlantic took a noteworthy step back in their follow up last year, failing to make a bowl game when they finished 5-7. Skipper Lane Kiffin is back in the fold spearheading operations and will look to once again power FAU to win a second C-USA crown in three years. Oddsmakers like that proposition as the Owls are short-listed as the favorite to win the conference in the pre-season.
The Buckeyes were a breath away from making the College Football Playoff as they found themselves on the outside looking in, in the culminating rankings for the CFP committee in December. Ohio State will look to once again toss its hat in the ring in the 2019-2020 season in its first game without Urban Meyer on the side-lines. Many are high on Ohio State’s prospects as they are a favorite to repeat as B1G 10 Champion and in many regards dubbed one of the most talent-rich teams in all of college football.
How the Public is Betting the Florida Atlantic-Ohio State Game
An astounding 73% of the betting public fancy the Buckeyes here laying the heavy wood. As a result of this substantial lean on the decorated program, the Buckeyes are now spotting an extra 3.5 points compared to their opening price of -24.
Florida Atlantic and Ohio State have never crossed paths. This game will be the inaugural meeting between the Conference USA favorite and B1G powerhouse.
It is worth annotating that Ohio State personally closed out the 2018-2019 season with three consecutive covers. Moreover, Ohio State is 4-1 ATS in their previous five non-conference clashes. Combining this with FAU’s 0-4 ATS record in their last four non-conference bouts, the Buckeyes are prone to be overvalued while of course, the Hoots are in a position to be undervalued.
There are no noteworthy injuries for either side in the build-up to this affair. Ohio State and Florida Atlantic will be fielding a full starting complement for the season opener.
Why We Like Florida Atlantic To Cover
We highlight the fact that the Owls opened as a 24-point pup and a drove of action has now positioned FAU to snag value. How is this the case? Well as a general rule of thumb, the value in the point spread is often diminished after the market moves by a point or maybe two away from the selection. Needless to say, the Buckeyes have nearly doubled that and thus it opens the door for Florida Atlantic to warrant a look. It would not be incredulous by any means if this line were to continue to rise as Ohio State is a quintessential public team that will garner a lot of love from novice bettors who see this as nothing more than easy money in a glorified scrimmage. However, the fact remains that when you back Ohio State in a spot like this, you are often paying a premium to do so. This is optimized by the Bucks’ recent successes in non-conference games against the spread. Contrarily, Florida Atlantic’s lack of profitability will only garner them to take back an inflated figure which puts them in a better place to cover. After all, I am almost certain that takers are expecting this game to be much a-kin to what happened last year when Florida Atlantic opened on the road in Norman, Oklahoma against the Sooners and was a public selection as a massive dog. The Owls, of course, got their doors blown off by Oklahoma and were never anywhere close to covering as they fell 63-14 despite closing as an 18.5-point pooch. This result is likely influencing the market and prompts us to fade that reaction.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Florida Atlantic +27.5
Though this is certainly a manageable home-opener for the Scarlet and Grey, there are still some issues to iron out. First off, this will be the Buckeyes first game under Head Coach Zach Day. Secondly, the Buckeyes have to work in a new starter at Quarterback in former Georgia Bulldog Justin Fields. Both of these narratives can affect Ohio State’s offensive acumen and performance and thus make them a very dubious proposition laying this number.
Moreover, the high Over/Under number is not conducive toward spotting this kind of weight. Should this game take on an offensive context, the Buckeyes could be set up for a severe overlay in the event both outfits get rolling. Finally, the backdoor potential in this market is also a significant reason to take the points. Should Ohio State get up 30 or 40 points, they can easily call off the dogs, while FAU may keep their first unit out to take some meaningful snaps and perhaps a couple of junk-time scores can result in some ripped up tickets on those backing the favorite.