The Ohio State Buckeyes showed that they didn’t need Urban Meyer on the sidelines in a 77-31 rout of Oregon State in their season opener. Ohio State moved the ball with ease all day long as Dwayne Haskins looked solid throughout the first game of the season. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are off to a good start too with a win in their FBS opener for the first time since 2014. However, it’s going to be tough for Rutgers to keep it within the number in this Week 2 matchup.
Watch this Week 2 matchup live on Saturday, September 8, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. ET at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Ohio State -34.5
You don’t often see five touchdown favorites in conference games, but Ohio State has wiped the floor with Rutgers in each of their four meetings since Rutgers joined the Big Ten. Rutgers was blown out 56-17 in 2014 and 49-7 in 2015, and things have gotten worse since former Urban Meyer assistant Chris Ash was brought onboard.
Ash’s Rutgers teams have failed to even score a point against his former team in two games. In 2016, Ohio State housed Rutgers 58-0 and last year’s margin was a slightly better 56-0 score in favor of the Buckeyes. Unsurprisingly, Ohio State is 4-0 ATS per the college football betting odds in those four games.
The NCAAF betting line has moved up a tick from where it opened in this year’s meeting between the two sides. Ohio State was originally a 34-point favorite, and that has gone up a half-point since openers were released on Sunday. The total has moved from 61 to 62 as well.
Player to Watch
Haskins’ first game as Ohio State’s new signal caller couldn’t have gone much better. The freshman had the eyes of Buckeye Nation on him as he was replacing four-year starter JT Barrett, and he showed that the future of the position is in good hands.
Through the air, Haskins shredded an outmatched Oregon State defense. He went 22-30 for 313 yards with five touchdowns and an interception. Having dual-threat ability is key in Meyer’s offenses, and Haskins has that too. He didn’t show much of it in the win over Oregon State, carrying the ball just twice for 24 yards, but he didn’t need to run the ball either.
It’s likely that Haskins won’t be completely unleashed until the TCU game as Ohio State does not want to show their hand against opponents they should handle with ease. The Buckeyes are likely to continue developing Haskins as a passer until next week.
Matchup to Watch
Rutgers wants to establish the run as much as possible. In their opener, the Scarlet Knights did a good job of that in a 35-7 win that covered the NCAAF betting line against Texas State.
Three different running backs carried the ball for over 60 yards on the day as Rutgers slowly ground things out on offense. True freshman Isaih Pacheco led the way with 76 yards, with Raheem Blackshear and Jonathan Hilliman right behind him. The trio helped Rutgers tally 218 yards and three scores on the ground, with Blackshear doubling as a receiving threat out of the backfield.
This running game has its work cut out for it against Ohio State’s front seven. Rutgers averaged just 2.9 yards per carry against this front last year, and the Buckeyes will be out to make amends after allowing Oregon State to rush for nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns in the opener.
Free ATS Pick
Barring Ohio State looking past Rutgers and ahead to TCU, I don’t see a way that the Scarlet Knights cover. The Buckeyes have the talent advantage at every position, and they have a front seven led by Nick Bosa that will be tough to block. Rutgers will finally be able to get on the board in this series, but it won’t be enough to cover.
College Football Odds: Ohio State 52, Rutgers 7
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!