Buckeyes Rolling Without Urban, But TCU Is First Test

No. 4 Ohio State will play its last game under the stewardship of acting head coach Ryan Day as they travel to Arlington, Texas to take on No. 15 TCU this Saturday. Let’s preview this game and check out what the oddsmakers are dealing on this Big Ten vs. Big 12 clash.

New Day Dawning

It might seem easy to jockey a horse over the finish line first when you’re riding Secretariat, but not everyone can do it. Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and acting head coach Ryan Day is in precisely that position, which means he must fly the scarlet and gray silks until the lead jockey returns from suspension. Urban Meyer is not only the chief rider of this Ohio State juggernaut but a man who has led the Buckeyes to a national championship in the 2014 season and is one of the nation’s few coaches who breathe the same rarified air as Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Coach Day has done an admirable job during Meyer’s three-game suspension and has elevated his national profile to the point where he will undoubtedly be part of the conversation when coaching vacancies become available at the end of the season. That’s what 1,300 total yards of offense and an average of nearly 65 PPG over the first pair will do, and Day understands all too well that if he keeps the engines greased and the cylinders clicking against TCU then it won’t be a question of if, but when, he gets his first head coaching gig.

Horned Frogs Ready to Get Croaked?

One of the first things we do after reviewing the college football slate is to click over to Sportsbook Review, the sports bettors’ bible for up to the minute odds from the best online sportsbooks in the industry, and take a peek at what the oddsmakers are hanging on our games of interest. The early consensus has the Buckeyes as 12½-point favorites over undefeated TCU but we are fully aware that highly-touted ranked teams not only get the most attention but also engender a line that is often inflated due to the flood of square money coming in on them from bettors who don’t know the difference between a Buckeye and a Horned Frog.

That said, it’s impossible not to be seduced by the gaudy numbers being struck by the Buckeyes’ offense. And if that’s not enough, the defense came alive last week against Rutgers when they held the Scarlet Knights to just three points in the team’s 49-point victory which also earned them their second ATS cover, this one as 34-point favorites.

TCU has also looked sharp and beaten up on the weak kids as the oddsmakers predicted they would. The Horned Frogs delivered a 55-7 thrashing against Southern University in their opener yet narrowly missed covering as 50-point home chalk. Last week it was SMU’s turn to get licked by the Frogs when they fell 42-12 as 23½ point home dogs.

Now, these two teams meet at a “neutral” site but we use that term loosely as Arlington is only a 20-minute drive away from TCU’s home base in Fort Worth. Despite the fact that AT&T Stadium will be filled with mostly Frogs’ fans, it won’t deter us from betting Ohio State because if you believe in trends then you gotta back the Buckeyes. Take a look at these:

*-Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.

*-Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

*-Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

*-Buckeyes are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.

Wait, there’s more only these are betting trends on TCU:

*-Horned Frogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten.

*-Horned Frogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.

*-Horned Frogs are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games.

*-Horned Frogs are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.

*-Horned Frogs are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win.

All we know is that the kid from Ohio State, sophomore Dwayne Haskins Jr., is hotter than Mila Kunis at a bonfire. He’s got nine touchdown passes, 546 passing yards, and just one pick. And to make absolutely certain nobody accuses them of being one-dimensional; OSU’s rushing attack has averaged 300 yards per game. Sorry, there’s just too much evidence that says the Buckeyes will roll once more under the watchful eye of Day as he prepares to abdicate his throne to the returning king Meyer.

Make sure to check out Sportsbook Review for all the latest lines from all the top online sportsbooks.

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