The #21 overall Northwestern Wildcats (8-4) battle the #6 overall Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) on Saturday in the Big 10 Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM EST on December 1st at Lucas Oil Stadium and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 14 college football odds, Ohio State opened as a 14-point favorite earlier this week. That line has remained unchanged after early betting, as the Buckeyes are currently listed at -14. The total for the game is sitting at 60 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Ohio State vs Northwestern
Northwestern has now won seven out of their last eight games after coming away with a 24-16 home victory over Illinois last weekend. The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 21-6 lead in the second quarter and never looked back, holding the Fighting Illini to just one touchdown. QB Clayton Thorson is having a pretty good year, passing for 2,675 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 60.3% of his throws. He has had a ton of help from the explosive receiving duo of Flynn Nagel and Bennett Skowronek, as they have combined for 1,260 yards and five touchdowns in twelve games. RB Isaiah Bowser leads the way on the ground, racking up 736 yards and six touchdowns. As a whole, Northwestern is averaging just 23.7 points per game (107th overall).
The Wildcats have been fantastic defensively so far this season, holding opponents to an average of 21.7 points per game (29th overall) on 372.2 yards of total offense. Northwestern has been especially good against the run, surrendering only 134.7 yards per game on the ground (32nd overall).
Ohio State absolutely crushed Michigan in the 2018 edition of “The Game”last weekend, outplaying the Wolverines badly on both sides of the ball en route to a 62-39 victory. The Buckeyes still have an outside shot at making the College Football Playoff with a solid showing here in the Big 10 title game, so it is extremely important that they avoid a letdown after such an emotional win in Week 13. QB Dwayne Haskins has been one of the best offensive players in the entire country all season long, throwing for 4,047 yards and 41 touchdowns in just twelve games. Haskins has also thrown three or more touchdown passes in eight out of his twelve starts. K.J. Hill and Parris Campbell have also been explosive, combining for 1,673 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. On the ground, RB J.K. Dobbins has racked up 961 rushing yards and eight touchdowns to lead the way for a rushing attacking that is averaging almost 200 yards per game on the ground. Overall, Ohio State is averaging 43.3 points per game (7th overall).
The Buckeyes were pretty mediocre during the regular season on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 25.8 points per game (57th overall) on 398.8 yards of total offense (67th overall). They haven’t looked great against either the run or the pass, ranking just 61st and 77th overall respectively.
Big 10 Championship Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Northwestern +14
While I still think that Ohio State will win this game outright, Northwestern has been an absolute beast as a double-digit underdog as of late. The Wildcats are a ridiculous 10-2-1 ATS over their last thirteen games as a 10+ point underdog, which is obviously extremely impressive. The Buckeyes have to still be riding high after such an emotional game in Week 13, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they get off to a bit of a slow start on Saturday night. It is also worth noting that Northwestern has been fantastic on the road this year, winning their last nine games away from home outright while outscoring their opponents by an average of 6.2 points.
Click on the link for more free college football picks from our experts on staff.
The Wildcats are a rock-solid 20-5-1 ATS over their past 26 conference games. They are also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games played on turf and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Ohio State is just 2-6 ATS over their last eight conference games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall.
Northwestern has given up 17 points or less in five out of their last six games. While I do think the Buckeyes can have a solid game offensively, I would be pretty surprised if this contest doesn’t stay close for at least three quarters. I think Ohio State will likely win by 7-10 points, so I’m going to roll with the underdog in this particular matchup. Give me the Wildcats and the two free touchdowns.