College football betting preview schedule
Thursday: Betting Alabama
Friday: Betting Ohio State
Saturday: Betting Georgia
Monday: Betting Clemson
Tuesday: Betting Notre Dame
Pick: Ohio State to win the Big Ten (-215)
Best Case: The Buckeyes have C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Treyvon Henderson. Isn't that enough? That trio will lead an offense that should be better than last year and possibly approach the historic levels of the 2019 LSU Tigers. There likely isn't a team in the Big Ten that can keep up with -- or even many defenses that can slow down -- an offense that averaged 8 yards per play and posted an offensive EPA of 23.2 PPG, nearly seven points better than the next closest Power 5 team. There are probably four or five top-15 opponents on the schedule, and all but Penn State visit Columbus, which in theory gives the Buckeyes a big edge.
Worst Case: What could hold Ohio State back? A defense that allowed 953 yards against Michigan and Utah to end last season. What if the change to Jim Knowles at defensive coordinator isn't enough to completely turn around a unit that is unproven at quite a few positions? Could the Buckeyes be vulnerable to a potential upset in a high-scoring affair? One can make the argument for nearly any team, but what if starting quarterback Stroud is injured? With Quinn Ewers a Texas Longhorn and Jack Miller with Florida, can backup Kyle McCord operate the offense at the level it needs to stay a national title contender? Ohio State has tough opponents at home, but remember last year the Buckeyes lost to Oregon at home as a double-digit favorite. Could it happen again?
Betting Spin: Play Ohio State to win the Big Ten at -215. Barring the unthinkable of two conference losses, or a home loss to undefeated Michigan in the regular season finale, the Buckeyes should make a return trip to the Big Ten championship game. In that game, Ohio State will again be a double-digit favorite, as it projects to be in every regular-season game, and will also be a much bigger favorite on the money line than -215.