It wasn't exactly pretty, but Ohio State got by Navy in its season opener and even got lucky with a cover as 14-point favorites.
This week, the Buckeyes are favored by almost two touchdowns again, this time for an ACC/Big Ten showdown with Virginia Tech on Saturday night at the Horseshoe in Columbus.
Point spread: Buckeyes opened as 12-point favorites; the total was 47 in midweek wagering at Ohio Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 32.9-27.5 Buckeyes
Why the Virginia Tech Hokies can cover the spread
The Hokies opened their season last Saturday with a 34-9 victory over William & Mary. Tech led 17-6 at the half and 27-9 after three quarters, outgained the Tribe 488-193, held the ball for almost 33 minutes and covered the spread as 23-point favorites.
Junior quarterback Michael Brewer, making his first college start, completed 23 of 30 throws for 251 yards, complimenting a Hokies ground attack that accounted for 222 yards. Virginia Tech returned 14 starters this year, nine on offense, including four along the offensive line.
Finally, the Hokies were dogged on the road twice last year; they won both those games outright.
Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread
The Buckeyes outlasted the Midshipmen last Saturday in Baltimore 34-17, scoring two late touchdowns to cover as two-touchdown chalk.
Redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, playing in place of the injured Braxton Miller, hit on 12 of 15 throws for 226 yards and led the team in rushing with 50 yards. Ohio State has won 24 of its last 26 games outright, including 15 in a row at home.
The Buckeyes only returned four starters on offense this season but seven on defense, including the entire front four.
Ohio State is constantly battling big point spreads, and it's still managed to go 6-4 against the spread the last 10 times it's been favored by two touchdowns or more.
Barrett played well in his debut, but losing Miller is still huge. If he were playing in this game, Ohio State would probably be favored by 20 points.
But he's not, so this becomes a matchup of two quarterbacks with a combined two collegiate starts going against what should be two pretty good defenses. Points may be hard to come by, so the pick for this one is with the points and the underdog.
- Virginia Tech is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games on the road.
- Ohio State is 23-2 straight up in its last 25 games.
Note: All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury updates and line move updates and get the free odds-tracker app.
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