Ohio State (11-1) is favored against Northwestern (8-4) at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday (December 1, 2018, 20:00ET).
The betting line started at a strong -14.5 points for the Buckeyes. They’ve gone a reassuring 10-1 straight up as favorites this year, and 4-7-0 ATS. The Wildcats are 5-2 straight up as underdogs, and 6-0-1 against the spread.
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins completed 69.0% of his attempts this season for 4,081 yards and 42 touchdowns. Haskins is an efficient quarterback, with a passer rating of 171.7 this season. J.K. Dobbins gained 1,159 yards from scrimmage and rushed for 8 touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
As a squad, Ohio State gained 544.1 yards per game and scored 43.3 points per game. The Buckeyes thus feature one of the best offenses in the country. The defense allowed 399.5 yards and 25.8 points per game, while Dre’Mont Jones led the squad with 8 sacks this season.
The Wildcats offense features quarterback Clayton Thorson, who passed for 2,675 yards and 14 TD’s this season. Thorson completed 60.3% of his passes, which works out to a passer rating of 119.7. Isaiah Bowser ran for 961 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Altogether, Northwestern averaged 351.8 yards per game and 23.7 points. The defense allowed 372.7 yards and 21.7 points per game. Joe Gaziano notched 6 sacks this season.
This game will feature at least two truly excellent units, the Ohio State offense and the Northwestern defense. That unstoppable force/immovable object dynamic makes betting the over/under difficult, but crucially important. The total for this game is currently set at 61.0, and how you feel about that line will likely decide the game. Consider parlaying an over/under bet with the corresponding spread pick.