Illinois vs. Ohio State Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Ohio State is the clear favorite today, as the Buckeyes are getting odds of -41 points against the Illini. The over/under total is currently listed at 53 points. Ohio State has won eight straight meetings with Illinois and the Buckeyes have covered in four of their last five encounters. The public is currently putting 53 percent of the wagers on Illinois with the points on the road. Today’s game takes place from Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio and will air live on ABC.
Ohio State is coming off an impressive 48-3 win at home over Michigan State to bounce back from a loss to Iowa the previous week. The Buckeyes are now 8-2 on the season and 6-1 in the Big Ten. Ohio State is 5-5 against the spread this season, but just 2-4 ATS at home. The Buckeyes have one of the top offenses in the nation, posting 44.2 points and 546.5 yards per game. J.T. Barrett has thrown for 2,557 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 572 yards and seven scores. J.K. Dobbins is the leading rusher with 1,038 yards and five scores. Three different receivers have over 400 yards, while Johnnie Dixon has caught eight touchdowns passes. Defensively, Ohio State is allowing just 20.4 points and 310.2 yards per contest.
Illinois is coming off a 24-14 loss at home to Indiana for its eighth straight defeat. The Illini are now 2-8 overall and 0-7 in the Big Ten. They stand 4-6 against the spread this season, but have covered in three of their last four games. Illinois has struggled on offense this season, posting just 16.4 points and 302.1 yards per game. Jeff George Jr. has thrown for 1,273 yards and seven touchdowns, but also has 10 interceptions. Leading rusher Mike Epstein is out for the rest of the season after rushing for 346 yards and three scores. Ricky Smalling is the leading receiver with 28 catches for 488 yards and two scores. Defensively, Illinois is giving up 28.4 points and 403 yards per game.
Can Ohio State follow up one dominant showing with another? That really hasn’t been a big problem for the Buckeyes. They defeated Rutgers 56-0 and followed that up with a 62-14 win over Maryland and a 56-14 win at Nebraska. Ohio State has shown the ability to beat up on some poor team and Illinois is certainly the definition of poor. The Illini have shown nothing in conference play to make you think they can put up any resistance today.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: OHIO STATE -41