Iowa Hawkeyes(4-2SU,3-3ATS) vs.Ohio State Buckeyes(6-0SU,4-1-1ATS)
College Football Week8
Date and Time:Saturday, October 19/3:30pm ET
byEvergreen,Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:IA +17/OSU -17
By now, most college football teams know about where they stand as they head into the back half of the schedule and while most are looking to secure a bowl bid or stay in a conference race, some have loftier goals.The undefeated and third ranked Buckeyes of Ohio State have their sights set on a national championship and line up against the Iowa Hawkeyes this Saturday in their quest to remain perfect.Iowa would love to knock OSU of its Big Ten pedestal the Hawkeyes need a win to keep pace in a wide open Legends division that is separates six teams by only one game at this point.
The online betting sites opened with Ohio State as 16 point favorites and that line jumped to 16.5 and then 17 in early betting as over 70% of the action has come in in favor of the Buckeyes.That makes the wise money lean to Iowa from a value standpoint but the Hawkeyes have covered the spread just once in the last six meetings with OSU and the favorite has covered in eight of the last ten in the series.
Both teams were idle last week so there should have been plenty of time to prep or install new wrinkles for each coaching staff.Iowa brings the ninth best defense in terms of total yards allowed and gives up just 16.8 points per game.Ohio State counters with a top-20 offense in both rushing and total yards and averages an obscene 46.8 points per contest.The Hawkeyes are a bit of a surprise so far but havent really beaten anyone that is better than they were on paper and have struggled at times to move the ball and score consistently.The Bucks have rolled on the other hand and have faced much stiffer competition on the way to 6-0.Before the bye week, OSU dropped Wisconsin at home and took care of Northwestern, leaving them a clear head and shoulders above the rest of the conference.
Iowa has found success behind the rush attack of Mark Weisman and the steady play of QB Jake Rudock.The Hawkeyes are definitely a run first offense, averaging 207 yards per game on the ground but Ohio State is giving up just 86 yards per game on average and held Wisconsin to just 104.If OSU gets some early points on the board, Rudock will have to be on top of his game to keep pace.There is no singular receiving threat for Iowa as seventeen different players have caught a pass this year with nine grabbing at least six balls and five with at least one touchdown.The ability to spread out the Buckeye defense should come in handy and make most defensive schemes somewhat irrelevant if the offensive line can protect the passer.
Braxton Miller has re-installed himself as one of the best dual threat quarterbacks after his injury from earlier in the season.Unlike last year, he now has a variety of weapons at his disposal and that has helped the Buckeyes average nearly 500 yards of offense per game.Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde average six yards per carry and the passing game is solid with Philly Brown and Devin Smith taking the top off the defense and allowing Miller to hurt teams with scrambles underneath.The OSU defense is underrated in some regard but the front seven has solidified and the unit is giving up just 326 total yards per game, good for 15thbest in the NCAA.The secondary can be attacked but some of that has come as opposing offenses have been forced to the air early and often to keep up with the scoring pace.
Two top-10 run defenses square off here but I doubt either team will come out chucking it so look for the offense with the early run success to have the momentum.Iowa is a longshot to pull an outright upset but this could be a short game with both teams favoring ball control and that favors the Hawkeyes to cover the spread.I think Iowa comes out with a plan to stay in this game until the late going and I believe they pull that off.Ohio State has success with Miller through the air and on the ground but Iowa keeps it close before giving up a late score that puts it away.OSU gets the win but he game is closer than what the final score indicates.Take the Hawkeyes and the points.OSU 34Iowa 20
Evergreen’sPick to Cover the Point Spread:IOWA
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