The No. 6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) are set to take on the No. 9 ranked Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl. Kickoff is set for 5:00 EST on January, 1st at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Oddsmakers opened up this game with Ohio State as a 5-point favorite, but that’s been bet up and the Buckeyes are now -6.5 and even -7 in some places. The total for this matchup is currently at 57.5 points.

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Rose Bowl Vegas Spread Preview: Ohio State vs Washington

The Buckeyes probably feel like they did enough to make the College Football Playoffs. Ohio State went 11-1 in the regular-season, securing another Big Ten East title with an emphatic 62-39 win over Michigan in the finale and would go on to blowout Northwestern 45-24 in the Big Ten Championship. In the end it felt like Ohio State was punished for their ugly loss at Purdue and a few too many close calls. The committee ultimately went with Oklahoma.

If getting left out of the playoffs wasn’t bad enough news for Buckeyes’ fans, head coach Urban Meyer, who is now 85-9 in his 8 years with Ohio State, announced he is stepping down after this game. Meyer has been as good as it gets in bowl games. He’s 4-2 in postseason play while with the Buckeyes and 11-3 overall.

The Huskies were expected to win the Pac-12 this year and they did just that, it just wasn’t the dominant season that everyone was expecting from Washington. It started with a hard-fought loss to Auburn in the season opener. They then dropped a game at Oregon and were later upset at Cal, all but slamming the door on the playoffs no matter how the rest of the season went.

To the Huskies credit they kept fighting and secured their 2nd conference championship under head coach Chris Petersen. Prior to coming to Washington in 2014, Petersen had compiled a 5-2 record in bowl games at Boise State. It’s been the exact opposite, as he’s just 1-3 in 4 bowls with the Huskies.

2019 Rose Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Ohio State -6.5

When I first looked at this game, I actually liked Washington to win the game outright. However, after taking a much-closer at this game, I would have to lean towards laying the points with the Buckeyes. I just think this being the final game that Urban Meyer will coach at Ohio State makes this more than just another bowl game for the Buckeyes.

Click on the link for more free college football bowl picks from our expert handicappers on staff.

In terms of talent, I think Ohio State is right there with the likes of Alabama and Clemson. It just seems like this team knows how good they are and has a problem with overlooking teams they should beat. I think it’s why we saw so many close games against mediocre teams and why we have also seen Ohio State suffer some ugly losses the last two years. In 2017 they got annihilated 55-24 at Iowa and this year they had a similar 49-20 loss at Purdue.

The thing is, the big games this team has almost always delivered under Meyer. Nothing speaks more true to that than the fact that Ohio State was a perfect 7-0 against rival Michigan under Meyer and their 4-1 bowl record over their last 5 bowl games.

Keep in mind they were in a very similar spot last year where they won the Big Ten title, but didn’t make the playoff and went out and beat USC 24-7 as a 8-point favorite in the Cotton Bowl.

The other big thing is that I just can’t get over how bad the Pac-12 has been in bowl games over recent years. You also have the struggles that Petersen has had in bowl games with this Washington team and the fact that they simply weren’t anywhere close to as good as what we were expecting. I think the biggest thing is Huskies senior quarterback Jake Browning hasn’t matured liked we all thought he would. He’s one of the most overrated quarterbacks in the country. I just don’t see him going toe-to-toe with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Give me the Buckeyes -6.5!