No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday September 9th, 2017. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Ohio Stadium Columbus, O.H.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OU +7.5/OSU -7.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
College GameDay will be in Columbus, Ohio this week for a top 10 showdown between the no. 6 Oklahoma Sooners and the no. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Sooners kicked off the Lincoln Riley era last week with a 56-7 victory over UTEP behind a masterful performance from quarterback Baker Mayfield who went 19 of 20 passing for 329 yards with 3 touchdowns. We already expected Oklahoma to have one of the premier offenses in the country and Mayfield is receiving Heisman Trophy consideration. Now this offense will get the opportunity to battle one of the elite teams in college football. Considering all of the uncertainty surrounding the untimely departure of Bob Stoops in June, a win over Ohio State would be monumental for new Head Coach Lincoln Riley and could restore faith in the Sooners program.
However, rest assured that things will not be easy for Oklahoma. The Sooners, despite their offensive prowess, will be 7.5 point underdogs at Ohio State this Saturday. The Buckeyes returned a plethora of talent that has expectations through the ceiling in Columbus. Last week, Ohio State took the national stage on Thursday night with a 49-21 victory over Indiana. Despite a slow start against an underrated Indiana team, the Buckeyes found lightning in the 2nd half scoring 36 points behind veteran quarterback J.T. Barrett who threw for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns and also behind freshman running back J.K Dobbins who exploded for 181 yards on 29 carries.
Now the stage is set for two big offenses to go to battle in a high stakes game. In many ways, this game has the ingredients to be an instant classic. Two quarterbacks at the helm who are receiving Heisman Trophy expectations, talent all over the field on both sides of the ball, and two teams who are desperately trying to put together a championship run. Urban Meyers Buckeyes have made the playoffs in 2 of the 3 years of its existence. Despite a 31-0 shutout in last years Fiesta Bowl, the Buckeyes have even higher expectations considering the team returned nearly everyone. Still expectations are just expectations until proven right or wrong. Ohio State did not look like a National Championship team in the 1st half of last weeks opener against Indiana so there is some concern if this team is being overhyped.
Ultimately, I am a believer in both offenses. Despite the sluggish start, I was really impressed with Ohio States speed last week against Indiana. Buckeyes running back J.K Dobbins has some serious quickness out of the backfield. WR Parris Campbell has game breaking speed which was proven with his 74 yard touchdown reception in the 2nd half. In fact, Campbell may be one of the fastest players on Ohio States entire roster and is going to be an incredible down the field threat this season. For Oklahoma, I also see a lot of positives as well. Obviously Mayfield is among the best quarterbacks in the country. Tight end Mark Andrews may be the best in college football at his position according to Mel Kiper. Andrews proved that theory last week by leading the Sooners with 7 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. Not to mention, Oklahoma has several other talented pieces to their offense that will become weapons in Mayfields arsenal.
So what is the difference in this game and what should we expect? Well football is all about matchups. Whether you are betting on spreads or trying to construct the best fantasy lineups each week. Everything is about exploiting matchups. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, Ohio State received the perfect opponent in last weeks win over Indiana. Hoosiers quarterback Richard Lagow is a solid passer and Indiana had some really big wide receivers that made a few great catches. Still, Ohio States defense was able to clamp down in the 2nd half by getting pressure on Lagow and ultimately playing great defense in the passing lanes. I think everyone would agree that Ohio State has the better defense in this game but their ability to adapt to Indiana last week is exactly the type of play that will be needed this Saturday.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Going by matchups, I like Ohio States defense, running game, and special teams going against Oklahoma. I also do not think Mayfield has enough weapons to attack Ohio State for 4 quarters. Therefore, I will ride with the Buckeyes -7.5 as they pull away late.
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