Ohio State Buckeyes Total O/U 10.5 Wins
The Buckeyes return this season to avenge their heartbreaking loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff with a team win total at 11 with -135 on the over. The Buckeyes have seen reasonable attrition, but they are the team that I am most confident in at the top of the board here based on the talent filling in the gaps.
Lost and Found
Ohio State had 7 draft picks in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft this season and they will lose 3 other starters. However, the players replacing most of these losses are players that are very much qualified to take over.
On the offensive line, Ohio State loses a guard and a right tackle, but they will replace the guard with #1 ranked 2019 center and the tackle with either the best tackle in the 2018 recruiting class or in the 2020 recruiting class. While losing starters isn’t comfortable, I think that the Buckeyes had the best run-blocking O-line in the country last year and they are my favorite to win best O-line in the country.
At receiver, they lose 3 seniors that are likely day 3 NFL players, but they bring in 4 top 100 freshman receivers including 2, 5 star receivers and the best receiver in the last 5+ years in the recruiting rankings. While we haven’t seen them play, there is no doubt that there is actually more explosion and talent at wide receiver than there was last year.
At defensive end, Chase Young will be replaced by #5 overall recruit in the country in 2019 Zach Harrison and the middle will be filled in with former 5-star recruit Taron Vincent. Defensive back is the biggest question alongside running back, but they return likely preseason all-american Shaun Wade and replace Jordan Fuller with one of the most talked about talents on the roster, Josh Proctor.
At linebacker, Ohio State loses Malik Harrison, but they replace him with Baron Browning, a former 5 star recruit that I expect to be a day 1 or 2 NFL prospect with his measurables after next season. I expect attrition at linebacker at some point because there are likely 6 or 7 on the team that would start on 8+ win power 5 teams this season if they left.
At running back, the Buckeyes got a grad transfer from Oklahoma, who some even believe was the most talented OU running back when he was healthy. They lack elite talent and recruit rankings at RB, but Sermon’s track record at a major program is undeniable.
Ohio State has to travel to Oregon in week 2, which could cause issues, but they will be facing a QB in his second start and Oregon lacks skill players to play with Ohio State. I love what the Ducks are doing on the recruiting trail and I think that guys like Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe could be day 1 starters, but they haven’t stacked up enough talent to compete with Ohio State that early in the year.
The Buckeyes also travel to Penn State, but Penn State lacks great QB play and Ohio State returns one of the best QBs in the country. Outside of the usual games vs. Michigan and Michigan State, Ohio State doesn’t really have major issues on the rest of their schedule with a pretty weak crossover schedule.
I think that this line is pretty crazy. Last season, Ohio State never played a truly close game in the regular season and they returned their QB and they have a ton of roster talent. Nevermind the fact that Justin Fields should be unleashed a bit more with 2 top end QB recruits coming in this season, providing more depth to the room.
To lose this bet, you need Ohio State to lose 2 games and I just think that is a doomsday scenario for this roster talent. They would need to lose to two of Penn State, Oregon, and Michigan most likely and they are a 9.5 favorite over Oregon, a 6.5 favorite at Penn State, and a -11.5 favorite over Michigan at a1pph.com. No other game on the schedule will be anywhere close to those odds.
Just based on the moneyline odds of those games currently posted, I have the odds of Ohio State losing at least 2 of those games at 14.86%, or +570. I just don’t get this line at all, besides the fear of taking a long term investment with a lot of push equity.
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