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The Buckeyes failed to cover the spread both times, a 20-point win over Indiana as 30-point favorites and a 28-point win over Youngstown State as 41.5-point favorites.
The lack of end-to-end dominance has given the sportsbooks reason to lower the spread for a game at 4 p.m. on Saturday against Western Kentucky at Ohio Stadium. Bettors will be looking to see if Ohio State can cover while also providing high-octane scoring to reach the set total for the game.
Odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook. For a full explanation on how to read betting odds, click here.
Moneyline: Ohio State (-6500), Western Kentucky (+2000)
Spread: Ohio State (-29, [-110]), Western Kentucky (+29, [-110])
Total: 64 points (Over & Under, -110)
- Ohio State has not covered the spread as a favorite in its last four games. The Buckeyes also have not covered in three of their last four games as 28-point favorites or higher.
- The Hilltoppers have played in 10 games against current Big Ten opposition and have yet to win. Western Kentucky has covered the spread in three of the last four games vs. the Big Ten, including two losses to Indiana by three points or less in the last two seasons.
- In seven games for the Buckeyes against teams that were actively playing in the Conference USA at the time of the game, Ohio State has never lost. However, they have only covered the spread in two of those games.
Why the under could hit
The NCAA passed a new rule allowing the game clock to continue on first downs unless it’s under two minutes in each half. In the first two Buckeyes games, the new rule has led to a decrease in the number of possessions, going from 27 in 2022 to 19 this season.
“It does create a level of anxiety because we’re used to getting about 15 possessions a game and scoring 60 and 70 points, but we had nine possessions. We’re not used to having nine possessions,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “Boy, when you only have 60 plays, every single rep you have got to be on point.”
With fewer possessions, the total has gone under in the first two Buckeyes games and this week’s game has the point total set at 64, the highest so far.
But if the trend of fewer possessions continues, the point total could once again be under, especially if those limited drives are used to kill the clock in the second half.
Why the over could hit
Western Kentucky boasts a passing offense that could give the Ohio State defense trouble. The Hilltoppers had the best passing game in the FBS last season with the most passing yards and averaging the second-most yards with 352.1.
That passing game, led by quarterback Austin Reed, translated into the 15th-best scoring offense in college football, averaging 36.4 points. Reed has carried that momentum into this season, averaging 46 points and 327 passing yards in the first two games.
WKU’s offense mixed with an Ohio State defense that has a history of giving up big plays could translate to more points if both teams can score quickly on a limited number of drives.
DraftKings has Ohio State’s set point total at 46.5 and Western Kentucky’s at 16.5, essentially predicting a 47-17 win for the Buckeyes if the over hits for both teams.
Longest odds wager available
On DraftKings Sportsbook, two wagers are available at +10,000 odds for Western Kentucky to beat Ohio State by either a 19-24 point margin or a 31-36 point margin.