In Saturday afternoon’s marquee matchup, 3rd-ranked Ohio State is hosting 12th-ranked Oregon. The Buckeyes are a heavy favorite to win the Big Ten this season, while the Ducks are a contender to win the Pac-12.
As a perennial playoff team that lost the national championship to Alabama last season, OSU is predictably the heavy favorite at home. Going into the season, Ohio State was set as an 11-point favorite for this matchup. After Oregon’s disappointing Week 1 performance, however, the Buckeyes are now 14.5-point favorites.
Is the line moving 3.5 points an overreaction to one underwhelming game by the Ducks? Or was it an appropriate adjustment?
Below, I go over how I think the game will go and provide my Oregon-Ohio State bet picks, with odds current as of 4 PM EST on September 8.
Oregon vs Ohio State Best Bet: Over 63.5 Points (-110) at BetRivers
For in-depth analysis of this CFB bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Oregon vs Ohio State Prediction
Oregon hosted Fresno State last week as a three-touchdown favorite but only won by one touchdown, 31-24. Even though the Bulldogs are a formidable foe in the Mountain West Conference, a top Pac-12 team such as the Ducks should have won by more.
Currently, Oregon is still a +275 favorite to win the Pac-12 at WynnBet, so the betting markets haven’t downgraded their chances to win the conference from their preseason odds. In my opinion, the Ducks’ narrow victory was more of an aberration than a sign of things to come.
Against FSU, Oregon limited the Bulldogs to only 75 rushing yards and 2.5 yards per rushing attempt. This could be the key ingredient for their game plan against Ohio State, which rushed for 201 yards last week against Minnesota while averaging 7.7 yards per rushing attempt.
And while the Buckeyes scored 45 points against the Golden Gophers last week, OSU’s new quarterback C.J. Stroud only completed 13 of his 22 passing attempts. If Oregon can limit Stroud, contain Ohio State’s rushing attack, and return to their high-scoring Pac-12 roots, then they could either beat OSU or at least keep the game close.
Prediction: Ohio State 45, Oregon 38
Oregon vs Ohio State Best Bets
Best Bet: Over 63.5 Points (-110) at BetRivers
Wager: 0.75 Units
Last week against Fresno State, Oregon scored “only" 31 points, which mirrored their 2020 output of 31.3 points per game (42nd in the FBS). With a veteran offensive line and nine returning offensive starters, the Ducks should see that number increase in 2021.
Ohio State has an even more formidable offense than Oregon. They may have a new quarterback, but Stroud notched four passing touchdowns against Minnesota last week. OSU ranked 11th in the FBS with 41 points per game last year, which is no small feat against Big Ten defenses.
It may be a square pick to bet the Over in a marquee matchup, but we should see offensive fireworks if the game is close or even if Ohio State wins in a blowout.
- Check out more of our CFB Week 2 Best Bets & Predictions
Best Bet: Oregon +14.5 (-113) at BetRivers
Wager: 0.5 Units
I’m a bit hesitant to bet on Oregon after last week’s game, but 14.5 points is too much to lay for Ohio State. The Ducks have a competitive roster and have the ability to put together a strong performance against the Buckeyes. Even if they lose, Oregon has enough talent to win the Pac-12 and still make the College Football Playoff.
The other reason why I like the Ducks to cover is that I believe they are a much better team than Minnesota this year. The Gophers were a 14-point underdog against the Buckeyes last week, yet they led at halftime. Even though the spread came back as a push, Minnesota played a much closer game than the final score indicates, suggesting that Oregon will be able to hang with OSU as well.