College Football Predictions and Picks: Miami Vs. Ohio State Betting Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 9/11/2010
It’s never too early in the college football season for National Championship talk. Even if it’s talk about a title game from nearly a decade ago.
No. 2 Ohio State welcomes No. 13 Miami to The Horseshoe at 3:40 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 in one of the marquee nonconference games of the college football season. And in what is the most overblown and overrated story line of this game, this is the first meeting since the 2002 National Championship Game in which Ohio State scored a huge upset.
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This is a ridiculous angle on this game mainly because the two starting quarterbacks on Saturday were in middle school when that national title game was going on. It’s not as if revenge is big on people’s minds. But even with all of the intriguing matchups on the field all anyone wants to discuss is a memory.
Speaking of quarterbacks, the spotlight will be shining brightly on the young, athletic, erratic, reckless, mystifying guys under center. Terrelle Pryor is the semi-accomplished Ohio State leader. He’s often a man among boys in the college game and seemingly covers eight yards per stride when rushing. His adversary is Jacory Harris, for Miami. Harris is ultra-athletic and has the tools to be a big-time player. But his decision-making is questionable at best and he’s been turnover prone in the past.
The edge goes to Pryor in this key matchup, but there is something unpredictable about Harris that makes him a dangerous underdog.
While the attention is on the signal callers, the winner in this game is going to be which team’s defense holds up the best.
Miami pitched a shutout last week against lowly Florida A&M, surrendering just 110 total yards. Ohio State was nearly as devastating, allowing 199 yards to Marshall and zero offensive touchdowns (Marshall scored on a blocked field goal return). The Buckeyes still have the core of the No. 5 overall and scoring defense from 2009 while Miami seems to have improved from last year’s No. 29 total and No. 37 scoring defense.
As with most matchups between Big Ten schools and southern programs, this is a classic speed vs. power matchup. Ohio State is going to try to dominate the line of scrimmage, push around the visitors, and shrink the field against the speedsters. Miami, on the other hand, will try to attack the edges and stretch the field vertically. Generally with the Buckeyes the power dictates the tempo.
Besides the massive home field advantage, Ohio State is also clearly the more experienced team and program. They have been playing in these types of games for the past decade. And they’ve been thriving (as long as they aren’t playing USC or anyone from the SEC). It’s as if that 2002 championship jarred something loose with these programs and they’ve been headed in opposite directions since.
The Buckeyes are 22-10 ATS in their last 32 games against ranked teams. They are 17-5 ATS as a favorite in those games, with most of them coming against other sorry-ass Big Ten teams. But they are still 3-1 in nonconference games against Top 25 teams and are 3-2 ATS at home against ranked nonconference foes dating back to 2002. The only loss was in 2003 in OT against N.C. State and last year at home to USC.
Miami is a team with major skills but major inexperience. But they haven’t proven that they are ready to force their way back into the top tier of college football programs. They are just 22-17 with zero bowl wins under Randy Shannon and have come up small in every marquee spot. They have been crushed in two trips to Blacksburg, losing 44-14 and 31-7. They have also been demolished at Florida (26-3) and at Oklahoma (51-13). This could be a coming out party. But until we see them play a full 60 minutes of high-level football they will remain a work in progress, struggling to recapture their former glory.
Miami Hurricanes at Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Betting Odds
Ohio State opened as a huge 10-point favorite, but nearly two of every three wagers has come down on Miami and has pulled the number down to -9.0. Some books are starting to show Ohio State -8.5. The total is set at 45.5, but is off most boards.
Miami Hurricanes at Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Trends
Buckeyes are 8-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Buckeyes are 40-18 ATS in their last 58 games overall.
Buckeyes are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Hurricanes are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.
Hurricanes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
Hurricanes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
Hurricanes are 11-27 ATS in their last 38 games following an ATS win.
Miami Hurricanes at Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Predictions and Picks
The number I am looking at in this contest is the total and I have a lean on the ‘under’ in this situation. While all of the talk is about the quarterbacks and the weapons I think that people are overlooking two talented, athletic defenses that can stand up to any offense. Both clubs tallied 45 points last week, but then combined to give up just seven. Miami has surrendered more than 20 points just three times in their last 10 games and Ohio State has allowed more than 20 just two times in the same span.
It’s still early in the year and I don’t expect either offense to be as sharp as it will be a month from now. Ohio State’s power will give the Hurricanes some problems while Miami’s speed should be able to collar Terrelle Pryor. This is a big-time game and I think that whether it’s a tight contest and Miami cover or whether Ohio State rolls up a blowout that this game will stay ‘under’ the total.
Robert Ferringo is a writer and a professional college football and NFL handicapper for Doc’s Sports. Last year he brought home +62.5 Units for his clients for NFL picks and he is regarded as one of the top totals players in the sport. He has turned a profit in 4 of 5 football weeks and has a 6-Unit NFL Total of the Month on the board this Week! You can sign up for his college football and NFL picks and get more information here.
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