Cotton Bowl Predictions | Missouri vs Ohio State

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2023

The 2023 Cotton Bowl features NCAA heavyweights in the No. 9 Missouri Tigers and the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes. These squads will travel to Arlington, Texas, to duke it out on December 29 at AT&T Stadium.

Both teams could be without key players, either because they’ve entered the transfer portal or they’ve opted out.

While we still need to find out every player who plans to participate in this game, news of who will not has already impacted the books.

Let’s see the NCAAF odds for Missouri vs Ohio State and review our predictions and best bets for the 2023 Cotton Bowl.

Missouri vs Ohio State Odds

Track our latest CFB odds for Tigers vs Buckeyes:

NCAAF lines used for Missouri vs Ohio State were current as of Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. ET on DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: Missouri (-115) • Ohio State (-105)
  • Spread: Missouri -1 (-108) • Ohio State +1 (-112)
  • Total Points: Over 49 (-110) • Under 49 (-110)

There has already been significant movement of the spread and likely more to come as we get closer to game time.

OSU immediately jumped out as heavy favorites prior to the news of quarterback Kyle McCord entering the portal. The line moved to -2.5 in favor of the Buckeyes before slowly moving even further to +1.

Missouri vs Ohio State Prediction

SCORE PICK: Missouri 26, Ohio State 23

Missouri enters the Cotton Bowl after its most successful season in nearly a decade. Head coach Eliah Drinkwitz deserves all the credit in the world for turning this program around and leading it to the fourth Cotton Bowl in the school’s existence.

However, doing so will be no easy task. Despite some of OSU’s stars already being ruled out for this game, head coach Ryan Day has plenty to work with talent-wise.

While guys like Marvin Harrison Jr. and TreVeyon Henderson are still undecided, others like Xavier Johnson and Devin Brown will have an opportunity to step up.

Where Ohio State will be most dangerous is on the defensive side of the ball. The Buckeyes had one of, if not the best defenses in the country, allowing just 13 touchdowns all season.

However, holding Missouri to the 11 points per game average the defense recorded this season will be much easier said than done. The Tigers, on the other hand, had one of the strongest offenses in the country this season, scoring 30 or more points in all but two games.

Doing a big chunk of the damage for Mizzou this season was senior running back Cody Schrader.

The Heisman candidate finished the year with 1,499 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. We have already seen the run game be an issue at times for OSU, most notably against Michigan in a loss that would ultimately keep the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoffs.

With Schrader, starting quarterback Brady Cook, and standout wide receiver Luther Burden III all expected to play, Missouri’s offense can produce similar to what it did all season.

OSU will simply be down too many key guys on offense and will wear out defensively as the game goes on. It will be important to monitor Harrison Jr. and Henderson to see whether they will suit up for the Buckeyes.

Missouri vs Ohio State Best Bets

Missouri (-115)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1.5 units

Getting Missouri to win outright at -115 could end up aging well depending on the decisions of OSU’s stars.

However, there is some risk in putting money here as the availability of Harrison Jr., Henderson, or either of the Buckeyes’ defensive linemen J.T. Tuimoloau and Michael Hall Jr. has the possibility of altering the odds back in favor of Ohio State.

Even so, if the form we saw from the Tigers at the end of the season is indicative of what’s to come at the Cotton Bowl, this play should cash with ease.

Missouri finished the season on a three-game win streak, averaging 39 points per game during that span.

Over 44.5 (-178)

FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 2 units

We will be taking advantage of FanDuel’s alternate point totals to get some fair odds on a relatively low point total.

Missouri managed to surpass this total themselves in its final game of the season when it defeated Arkansas 48-14. Out of all 12 contests, Mizzou games finished under 44 just twice all season.

OSU, on the other hand, finished under this total in quite a few games. However, often this was a result of the Buckeyes’ defense completely dominating its opponents.

Ohio State’s O/U record is just 3-9, but facing an elite offense like Missouri’s and up against a lowered alternate point total at just 44.5 will likely lead to this cashing easily.

Missouri vs Ohio State Same-Game Parlay

Missouri vs Ohio State SGP (+229)

FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 units

  • Missouri (-111)
  • Missouri Over 24.5 (+100)
  • Over 48.5 (-113)

We’ll be banking on a strong offensive performance from Missouri to cash this +229 Missouri vs Ohio State same-game parlay.

This SGP tails two of our best bets, but I opted for the over 48.5 rather than 44.5 to get higher odds. For that reason, I recommend managing your bankroll and calculating your units correctly.

The only leg added on is Missouri Over 24.5. Mizzou scoring under this total was an anomaly this season, happening just twice. It is worth noting that one of those occasions came against Georgia, whose defense compares fairly well to OSU’s.

Even so, Drinkwitz’s squad has it in them to finish the season on a high note and score a good amount of points in the process.

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