Whoa. The coffee-heads in Las Vegas have spiked the point spread for the OSU Buckeyes this Saturday…bigly.
Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes aren’t necessarily a hot team. They’re in line for a Big Ten title bid, for sure, but their season has been a roller-coaster. Michigan State was no match for J.T. Barrett and his supporting cast on Saturday, as the Spartans fell 48-3. But only a week prior, Ohio State lost to Iowa by 31 points…and had played 7 out of 8 quarters poorly before last weekend’s triumph.
But maybe the Fighting Illini aren’t seen as fighters. Illinois is at a miserable 2-8 after 8 straight losses, as quarterback Jeff George Jr. has proved to possess a pedigree and little else.
What’s intriguing, though, is that the Illini haven’t lost a contest by more than 29 points in 2017. That happened at Iowa, where Ohio State lost by 2 more. Judging by the point spread in Columbus this weekend, odds-makers don’t ascribe the competitive-loss record of Illinois to anything more than a fluke.
Who: Illinois Fighting Illini at Ohio State Buckeyes
When: Saturday, November 18th, 3:30 PM EST
Where: The Horseshoe, Columbus, OH
Lines: IL (+41) at Ohio State (-41) / O/U Total: (55)
When a point spread rises to 40+ it prohibits a lot of outcomes on the field adding up to winners for the favorites-to-cover bet. If Illinois shows any serious sign of life on offense, the Buckeyes likely lose ATS.
Or, if Ohio State is slowed in their marches downfield. With a size, speed and coaching advantage, the Buckeyes could win 35-0 and make it feel like 70-0. That’s the danger in betting on the favorites here.
Believe it or not, the Illini defense has acquitted itself pretty well against big, fast, elite offenses. They were able to hold Wisconsin to about 300 yards of offense and 24 points in a recent loss. South Florida scored 47 on Illinois, but the Bulls didn’t run away early, and George actually came to life with some drives of his own.
If you’d like to turn 20,000 dollars into 20,050 or so, bet on Ohio State to win straight-up. They wouldn’t lose this game once in 50 tries, even with the Michigan Wolverines looming on the schedule.
But take Illinois and (+41) points against the spread. I’m thinking the Buckeyes will shorten the game to help prevent injuries before the final push, and the Illini should put at least 10 points on the board.