The No. 12 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0) are hosting the No. 21 Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-1) for what promises to be an exciting Big Ten battle.
Both teams have a lot riding on this, and bettors who choose to wager on this game could also have some serious implications on the outcome.
Fortunately, we have you covered here at B/R, so keep reading to find out where to watch OSU vs. NU, how you should bet the point spread and over/under, some key injuries that could impact the game, notable players to watch, a prediction for the final score and much more.
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
When: Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m. ET
Listen: 1400 AM (Lincoln), 97.1 FM (Columbus)
Live Streaming: Buckeye Vision
Injury Report (via USA Today)
WR Tim Marlowe (collarbone), out indefinitely
WR Tyler Wullenwaber (knee), out indefinitely
LB Zaire Anderson (knee), out for season
RB Jordan Hall (ankle), questionable for Saturday
DB C.J. Barnett (ankle), questionable for Saturday
RB Warren Ball (foot), out indefinitely
Spread: Ohio State -3.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Take the points with the road team here, as Urban Meyer—traditionally one of the best coaches ATS in the country—has been struggling to get his Buckeyes to cover in 2012.
Ohio State has just two wins against the spread in five tries, with those coming in a Week 1 blowout of Miami (OH) and an upset victory over Michigan State in Week 5.
As for why the Cornhuskers will actually cover on the field, their running game will overwhelm these Buckeye defenders—who have yet to see a decent rushing attack in the first five weeks.
Nebraska is No. 5 in the nation with 305.8 yards per game on the ground, while OSU has yet to face an opponent inside of the top 50 in that category.
Even if Ohio State wins outright, it shouldn’t be by more than a field goal, tops.
Over/Under: 57.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Lean towards the over in this one.
It went way over in 2011, when the total was set at 44 and the teams combined for a whopping 61 points. While this meeting won’t exceed the set O/U by 17, it should easily top the number that Vegas has set.
As mentioned, Ohio State is going to be stunned by the Cornhuskers' rushing attack and will allow numerous scores on the ground, while Braxton Miller goes to work on the offensive end to keep the Buckeyes in this.
It should be a point bonanza that will have those that backed the over getting paid.
Key to Nebraska Victory: Pound the rock
If the Cornhuskers get anywhere close to the 305 yards per game they average, they should be in great shape to win the contest.
This team has totaled up 15 touchdowns on the ground and over 1,500 rushing yards in five games, mostly split between Ameer Abdullah, Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead, Imani Cross and Braylon Heard.
With so many weapons, Nebraska can afford to ride the hot hand or send a struggling player to the bench in order to give another guy a shot. The Buckeyes certainly have their work cut out for them in trying to stop NU.
Keys to Ohio State Victory: Braxton Miller
The Ohio State QB is going to be essential for the program to emerge from this must-win home contest as the victor.
He’s the definition of a do-it-all player on offense, lighting up opposing defenses for 933 yards and eight touchdowns through the air, while also keeping it himself for another 577 yards and seven touchdowns.
That is an insane amount of statistical output for one 19-year-old, but Miller has proved time and time again that he’s the playmaking signal-caller that the Buckeyes need.
Prediction: Nebraska 35—Ohio State 32
Which team will win?
Nebraska’s rushing offense is getting the nod here to pull the upset victory over the Buckeyes.
While Miller and the Ohio State offense are elite, they aren’t anything the Huskers haven’t seen before and should be somewhat containable.
Regardless of what the actual outcome is, we do know this is going to be a hard-fought game that will have far-reaching implications on the Top 25 polls, Big Ten standings and even the BCS bowls.
Expect a war on Saturday.