Ohio State is 8-0 and is coming off a 24-10 away victory over Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Rutgers is riding a two-game winning streak after beating the Hoosiers 31-14 at Indiana.
Please join me as I take a closer look at the CFB odds for this Ohio State vs. Rutgers Big Ten matchup on Saturday, November 4.
Buckeyes Offense Improving Each Week
Ohio State was recently ranked No. 1 in the FBS playoff race, and they have looked sharp as a tack on defense with an improving offense under quarterback Kyle McCord. They are 8-0 on the season and is 4-4-0 ATS this season.
The 38th-best scoring offense averages 32.5 points per game and has exceeded that average in four of their eight contests. McCord tossed a pair of interceptions in their 24-10 away victory over Wisconsin, but he’s thrown seven TD passes over the last five.
All-American wideout Marvin Harrison Jr and tight end Cade Stover have combined for 1318 receiving yards and a dozen TDs. Their backfield has seen some injuries but is 93rd in rushing yards behind an offensive line that’s been shaky this season with 16 sacks allowed.
The biggest improvement Ohio State has made has been its defense. They’ve yielded 17 points or fewer in each of their eight games and ranked No. 17 in rushing defense and fifth nationally against the pass. The Buckeyes boast two sacks per game, 35 passes defended with five picks and two pick-sixes but rank 75th in tackles for a loss.
Rutgers 13th-Ranked Scoring Defense
The Scarlet Knights are riding a two-game winning streak with an improving offense and the 13th-ranked scoring defense nationally. They are 6-1-0 ATS and 4-1 ATS at home.
While the defense has been robust, the offense under quarterback Gavin Wimsatt seems to improve with every game. Rutgers has outscored their 28.1 average in five of their eight games and three of their previous four. Wimsatt has thrown for 1134 yards with seven TD passes and four interceptions, but he boasts an additional 362 yards with seven TDs.
Wimsatt will throw up to 35 times per game but has completed just 50% of those passes. Four Scarlet Knights have 100+ receiving yards, but the main weapon outside of Wimsatt is running back Kyle Monangai. The junior RB has rushed for 744 yards and seven TDs behind an offensive line, and between him and Wimsatt, they are the Rutgers offense.
The Rutgers defense ranks 13th nationally in points allowed and has four defensive scoreless halves, including two during Big Ten play. They’ve surrendered 126 points with the second-best passing defense nationally and 15th in fumbles recovered. This group has defended 35 passes with five interceptions and has allowed eight passing and six rushing TDs.
Ohio State vs. Rutgers Best Bet
Ohio State might be the best team in the country, but they don’t cover the spread away from Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes are 1-3-0 ATS as the away team this season, and they don’t don’t seem to play well offensively on the road.
Rutgers has a solid defense, and they aren’t going to be afraid of anything OSU does. The Buckeyes’ offensive line has suffered injuries, as has the offensive backfield, and as a result, Ohio State relies on its defense to slow opponents down enough for the offense to outscore and win but not cover the spread.
The Scarlet Knights are 6-1-0 ATS for a reason. The defense sets the stage, and Wimsatt and Monangai are their main weapons. Ohio State is better against the pass than it is against the rush, and I believe the Scarlet Knights playing at home, where they are 5-0 for the first time since they went 6-0 in 2006, will spur them on and cover the +19 (-110) at DraftKings Ohio.
My Best Bet: Rutgers +19 (-110) DraftKings Sportsbook
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