Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Preview & Picks
The Oregon Ducks are headed to the Horseshoe to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a huge non-conference game on FOX in the Big Noon Kickoff game of the week.
This means that the Ducks are playing a game at 9:00 a.m. local time, something that they somewhat attempted to do in Eugene last week with an 11:00 a.m. local start, which isn’t something that we see from Pac-12 schools too often. I can’t imagine this was unintentional, and I do know that Oregon arrives in Columbus on Thursday to get adapted to the time difference as much as possible.
Ohio State Preview
The Buckeyes are coming into this game with a tough win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where the Buckeyes only had 48 offensive snaps and trailed at halftime until breaking away in the second half with a barrage of explosive plays. I expect the Buckeyes to see significantly more offensive plays this week and produce a similar amount of points and even more total offense.
Oregon Ducks Preview
While the Ducks have the best raw defensive talent on the Buckeyes schedule, they are a top-heavy bunch, relying on the contributions of a banged-up Kayvon Thibodeaux, second-year players Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell, and a secondary that has had injuries and legal issues throughout camp.
While the three players I listed, and even a few more, can hang with the Buckeyes in certain ways, there aren’t 11 defenders that can keep up, and that will show up on Saturday afternoon. Ohio State’s offensive staff has been great at targeting players that cannot hang with their overall talent, like in the 2018 Michigan game where the Wolverines had 10 guys on the defense good enough to play the Buckeyes well and one player that couldn’t handle the speed.
This ended in 62 points, with a ton of them being on the same poor defender. Oregon isn’t even as deep defensively as that Michigan team, and even the uber-talented linebackers struggled to move in pass coverage last week against Fresno State.
The Oregon offense lacks star power and an identity.
Last week, we saw Minnesota really lean into their identity as a program and play smashmouth football against the Buckeyes with extra linemen and 40 minutes of possession. I think that this style is the way to beat the Buckeyes, barring being a Top 5 team talent-wise, but I think that Minnesota with a healthy Ibrahim was the team best set up to execute this plan with major success.
Oregon’s best offensive player is Johnny Johnson III, but he isn’t a huge threat to hurt you for 10 catches, 160 yards, and two touchdowns like he needs to carry the offense himself. Anthony Brown is a bad passer and a solid runner, but that isn’t good enough in this matchup, especially if Ohio State’s secondary is at full strength. I expect Oregon to look worse than Minnesota did against the Buckeyes, and that is just due to the schemes in this matchup.
Ohio State -14.5
Ohio State OVER 38 total points
I think that the most confident I can be in a pick this week is betting on this offense to score 40 points each and every week. They are a touchdown waiting to happen, especially if we see more Treveyon Henderson in this game, who is able to break a big run at a moment’s notice.
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