Northwestern Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Picks

December 14, 2020

Date:Saturday, December 19th
Time:12:00 PM ET
Network:FOX
Venue:Lucas Oil Stadium
Spread:Ohio State -20.5
O/U:58.5

The‌ ‌6-1‌ ‌Northwestern‌ ‌Wildcats‌ ‌will‌ ‌meet‌ ‌the‌ ‌5-0‌ ‌Ohio‌ ‌State‌ ‌Buckeyes‌ ‌Saturday‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Big‌ ‌10‌ ‌Championship‌ ‌at‌ ‌12:00‌ ‌PM‌ ‌ET‌ ‌in‌ ‌Lucas‌ ‌Oil‌ ‌Stadium.‌ ‌The‌ ‌Big‌ ‌10‌ ‌committee‌ ‌abolished‌ ‌the‌ ‌six-game‌ ‌minimum‌ ‌to‌ ‌reach‌ ‌the‌ ‌championship,‌ ‌allowing‌ ‌the‌ ‌Buckeyes‌ ‌in.‌ ‌They‌ ‌come‌ ‌in‌ ‌as‌ ‌19.5-point‌ ‌favorites‌ ‌and‌ ‌we’re‌ ‌looking‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌58.5‌ ‌over/under.‌ ‌Let’s‌ ‌dive‌ ‌into‌ ‌how‌ ‌this‌ ‌game‌ ‌will‌ ‌go‌ ‌down‌ ‌and‌ ‌who‌ ‌will‌ ‌end‌ ‌up‌ ‌covering‌ ‌the‌ ‌spread.‌ ‌Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we will be covering every single conference championship and bowl game.

Trends

  • Wildcats are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Buckeyes are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Under is 6-2 in Buckeyes last 8 vs. a team with a winning record.

When The Northwestern Wildcats Have The Ball

The Wildcats’ sole loss this season came to Michigan State in a game they should have won. They’d have an argument to make the playoff if they win this game, but it still won’t happen. The committee would much rather two SEC teams or Notre Dame over a one-loss Northwestern. Still, they can eliminate Ohio State and jump into a New Year’s Bowl. 

The team is anchored by its defense, who gave up just 10 points to Illinois last week. They’ve allowed just 102 points in seven games. Offensively, they want to run the ball. Drake Anderson and Isaiah Bowser haven’t been great, but they also play in the toughest conference to run the ball and both must step up against Ohio State. 

QB Peyton Ramsey will be asked to throw the ball 35+ times in this game. He’s been ok this year, completing 59% of his passes for 1,218 yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions. The Buckeyes will be hunting for turnovers and Ramsey must take better care of the ball than he has to this point.

When The Ohio State Buckeyes Have The Ball

The Buckeyes haven’t been perfect through five games, but they been dang close. They struggled a bit against Indiana and the first half against Penn State was scary. Still, it never felt like Ohio State was even close to losing any game. Justin Fields is the heartbeat of the squad and one of the best signal-callers in the country. He’s tossed it for 1,407 yards with 15 touchdowns and three interceptions through just five games. Garrett Wilson (572 yards, 5 TD) and Chris Olave (528 yards, 5 TD) are his primary targets as two guys that will eventually be drafted in the first round. 

When Fields isn’t tossing it around to his elite wideouts, Master Teague III (426 yards, 6 TD) has all but taken over the lead running back role. Trey Sermon (344 yards, TD) is an excellent complimentary piece and he’s actually leading the team with 6.1 yards per carry. Fields can run it as well, adding 239 yards and five scores on the ground. This offense is lethal and if the defense can make a few big stops, Ohio State will be on their way to an easy victory. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Ohio State -20.5

The Buckeyes looked tremendous against Michigan State a week ago and while that doesn’t seem like a big deal, it was nice to see the offense open things up before playing Northwestern. The Wildcats defense is great, but they gave up 29 points to a Michigan State team that struggles to move the ball. It won’t be an offensive explosion, but I don’t necessarily expect Ohio State to struggle at all. Fields will throw it for 250+ yards and the backs will combine for another 140+. I have zero confidence in Peyton Ramsey and expect him to struggle against this secondary. Give me the Buckeyes to win this one by three scores.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 58.5
Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 38, Northwestern 13

While I expect the Ohio State Buckeyes to win this game comfortably, the Northwestern Wildcats style of play doesn’t breed points. They slow things down as much as they can and will at least keep Ohio State from stretching the field. The Wildcats offensively don’t have much and especially if I’m expecting Ramsey to struggle mightily. I like the under, but just barely. This is a spot-on number and I would rather bet against the spread. 

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