Big Ten Championship Total Prediction
Can No. 6 Ohio State build off its offensive showing last week when it meets No. 21 Northwestern this Saturday in the Big Ten Championship at 8PM ET?
Game Snapshot & Odds
321 Northwestern vs. 322 Ohio State
Saturday, December 1, 2018
8PM ET – Lucas Oil Stadium
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Ohio State is favored in this game, as the Buckeyes are getting odds of -14 points against Northwestern. The over/under total for the contest is currently listed at 61 points. The public betting currently has 73 percent going on Ohio State as the favorite in this contest.
Wildcats a surprise finalist
Not many saw Northwestern reaching the Big Ten Championship, but the Wildcats have won three straight overall and seven straight conference games to get here. Northwestern is 8-4 on the year, 6-4-2 against the spread and 7-5 with the under. They have hit the under in three straight games.
The Wildcats haven’t had much to offer on offense this year. They rank 108th nationally in scoring (23.7 ppg) and 111th in total offense (351.8 ypg). Their rushing offense is 120th (114.8 ypg). The team suffered a big loss early in the year when Jeremy Larkin was forced to step away from football due to an injury. Isaiah Bower has emerged over recent weeks as the feature back. He has 736 yards and six touchdowns this year. He has had four 100-yard games over Northwestern’s last six contests. Clayton Thorson leads the offense with 2,675 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, but he also has 12 interceptions. Flynn Nagel is the leading receiver with 64 catches for 746 yards and two touchdowns. Nagel is dealing with a leg injury that has him questionable for Saturday’s contest. Defensively, the Wildcats are holding opponents to just 21.7 points and 372.7 yards per game.
Buckeyes dominate Michigan
After a season of shaky performances, Ohio State played up to expectations last week in a 62-39 thrashing of Michigan. The Buckeyes have won four straight coming into the weekend. They are now 11-1 on the season, 5-7 against the spread and 6-6 with the over/under total. The Buckeyes have hit the over in two straight.
Ohio State has one of the more prolific offenses in the country. They put up 43.3 points per game and average 544.1 yards per contest. They rank second in the nation in total yards and in passing yards (362.5 ypg). Dwayne Haskins has thrown for 4,081 yards and 42 touchdowns to lead the offense while Parris Campbell has 72 catches for 903 yards and 11 scores. J.K. Dobbins is the team’s leading rusher with 961 yards and eight scores. Defensively, Ohio State is average. The Buckeyes are giving up 25.8 points and 399.5 yards per game this season. Their pass defense is just 78th nationally at 237.6 yards allowed per game.
College Football Betting Trends
Northwestern has hit the under in its last five against Big Ten opponents and in five of its last six on a neutral site.
Ohio State has hit the over in eight of its last 11 games following a win of more than 20 points.
This total is a hard one to predict. Are the Buckeyes the team we saw last week, or the team we saw most of the year? Will they be motivated as a big favorite against Northwestern? The Wildcats have been able to muddy up games most of the year with their physical defense. However, the Cats haven’t played an offense like this all year. They did give up 31 points at home to Notre Dame, which would be the next-best offense it has seen. Their defensive weakness has been the pass game, so I expect Haskins to continue to play well and get Ohio State some solid points. The Cats should find some scoring against this mediocre OSU defense as well, especially with their run game flourishing in recent weeks. I like the over to hit in this one on a fast indoor surface.
Big Ten Championship Prediction: Northwestern/Ohio State Over 61