Bowling Green at Ohio State
Saturday, 9 am PT - Big Ten Network
CRIS Opener: Ohio State -26 O/U 56
CRIS Current: Ohio State -28 O/U 64
Recommendation: Ohio State
The season kicks off in Columbus on Saturday morning as Ohio State hosts fellow in-state foe Bowling Green. The Buckeyes are looking to return back to the College Football Playoff after falling a field goal short of an undefeated regular season thanks to Michigan State. Urban Meyer's recruiting prowess is the key factor as to why many believe OSU is still one of the top contenders this season. The Buckeyes return only six starters on both sides of the ball but with tons of talented five-star freshman and many sophomores and juniors who know the systems well, this team should be able to pick up right where they've left off.
Bowling Green has a ton of changes heading into the year starting with first-year head coach Mike Jinks who was a top-tier prep coach for many years in Texas. He was part of Texas Tech's staff last season under Kliff Kingsbury. His familiarity with spread offenses will fit this up-tempo ball club that scored 591 points in 2015. However, Jinks will have to get this done with a completely new offense as last year's starting quarterback and running back are gone, along with four of the team's top five leading receivers. Defensively, Bowling Green was mediocre, if not awful as times, with a porous pass defense that ranked near the bottom of the nation in yielding passing plays of 10 yards or more.
Note that the Buckeyes finished 6-7 ATS last season with three of their pointspread losses coming against non-power five foes. In those contests they were laying -33.5, -34, and -41. I think some of those ATS struggles came as a result of the quarterback controversy and a lack of cohesion on offense. With JT Barrett the clear cut starter and plenty of plug-play-and-thrive situations I project this offense to hit the ground running which makes laying the four touchdowns and worthy play.