College Football Free Betting Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ohio State Buckeyes

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Two schools that prefer to mix in a lot of running plays, No. 3 Buckeyes (-30) are gearing up to welcome their conference nemesis Minnesota Golden Gophers to Ohio State. This critical afternoon game is scheduled to get going at 12:00 p.m. ET and fans can catch it live by tuning in to FS1.

Betting Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota is the noticeable underdog here and is currently getting 30 points from bookmakers. There should be some solid in-game betting scenarios while the contest is underway, and oddsmakers have yet to specify what the game’s over/under (O/U) will be.

The Golden Gophers have gained 0.0 units so far and are 3-2 against the spread (ATS). The team’s recorded an O/U mark of 3-2.

The Buckeyes have gained 2.0 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 3-2-1 ATS and have an even O/U record of 3-3.

The Golden Gophers have gone 3-2 straight up (SU), including 0-2 SU against Big 10 opponents. The Buckeyes are 6-0 SU overall and 3-0 SU in conference play.

The Gophers dropped one to Iowa 48-31 in a thumping where the passing attack left much to be desired as Zack Annexstad completed only 17 passes on 33 attempts for 218 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Mohamed Ibrahim (62 rushing yards on 13 attempts) propelled the ground attack while Rashod Bateman (seven receptions, 65 yards, two TDs) and Tyler Johnson (six catches, 107 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Ohio State just earned a 49-26 win over Indiana. Dwayne Haskins completed 33-of-44 passes for 455 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. J.K. Dobbins (82 yards on 26 rush attempts, one TD) and Mike Weber (70 yards on 13 carries) spearheaded the running game while Parris Campbell (nine receptions, 142 yards, two TDs) and Johnnie Dixon (five catches, 73 yards, one TD) led the receiving attack in the win.

Minnesota’s run the ball on 57.3 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Ohio State has a rush percentage of 53.3 percent. The Golden Gophers have rushed for 145.0 yards per game (including 90.0 per game versus Big Ten opponents) and have six scores on the ground this year. The Buckeyes are totaling 201.0 rush yards per game (166.0 in conference) and have 12 total rushing TDs.

It seems like the Buckeyes ought to hold an edge when it comes to efficiency in the ground game. Their backfield has produced 4.7 yards per carry while their defense has allowed 4.0 yards per rush attempt to opponents. The Golden Gophers have tallied 3.5 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 4.2 to opponents.

The Gophers offensive scheme has tallied 196.4 yards per game through the air overall (201.5 per game versus conference opposition) and has nine passing scores so far. The Buckeyes have recorded a ridiculous 364.7 pass yards per outing (360 against Big 10 foes) and have 26 total pass TDs.

Defensively, Minnesota seems to have the upper hand in both facets. The team has allowed 127.4 rush yards and 196.8 pass yards per game. The Ohio State defense has allowed 222.2 yards per game to opposing passers and 143.0 yards per game to opposing runners. The Gophers are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 4.94 to opponents, while the Buckeyes have given up a 5.47 ANY/A.

Offensively, Annexstad is up to 755 passing yards this year, and has completed 54 percent of his 112 attempts with seven passing scores and three interceptions. He has a 5.80 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 2.39 over the past two outings.

Mohamed Ibrahim (163 rushing yards this season), Rashod Bateman (189 receiving yards, two receiving TDs) and Chris Autman-Bell (150 receiving yards) have each played key roles lately.

On the other sideline, Dwayne Haskins has managed to complete 120-of-159 passes for 1,649 yards, 22 TDs and three INTs. Haskins’ ANY/A stands at 11.88 for the season and 8.94 over his past two outings.

We’re thinking the Buckeyes will control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. Along with WR Parris Campbell (441 receiving yards, seven receiving TDs this season), J.K. Dobbins (405 rush yards, three rush TDs, 64 receiving yards) and Mike Weber (369 rush yards, three rush TDs, one TD) have really been focal points in the Buckeyes’ recent offensive gameplans.

These two Big 10 foes did not get a chance to play one another in 2017.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes NCAA Tip

SU Winner: Ohio State, ATS Winner: Minnesota

Team Betting Notes

  • Ohio State has lost two fumbles this season while Minnesota has lost four.
  • The Ohio State defense has tallied 22 sacks on the year while Minnesota has just eight.
  • Minnesota has averaged 2.59130434782609 yards per rush attempt over its last three contests and 2.5 over its last two.
  • Ohio State has averaged 3.4 yards per carry over its last three games and 3.2 over its past two.
  • Over its last three contests, Ohio State is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • Minnesota was getting 7 points in its previous game and the O/U was 41.5. The over cashed and Minnesota failed to cover in the 48-31 loss to Iowa.
  • Over its last three matchups, Minnesota is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • Ohio State was favored by 28 points in its last game and the Over/Under was set at 64.5. The over cashed and Ohio State did not cover in the 49-26 triumph over Indiana.