The Big Ten is one of the most competitive conferences in NCAA football. The Ohio State Buckeyes have had Urban Meyer as their head coach since 2012 and his has led the team to a record of 24-2, including 12-0 record for the regular season for two straight seasons.
Odds makers at Bovada and topbet have given the Buckeyes 10.5 as a win total for 2014. Many experts in the sport believe the Buckeyes under the tutelage of Meyer will once again dominate the difficult Big Ten. However, some have their doubts.
Let’s take a look.
The UNDER could be a good play as the Buckeyes for some seem to be highly overrated.
On defensive, Ohio State will be very suspect in the secondary when they open versus Navy. Just one starter for last season returns to the secondary. The three other defensive backs are inexperienced and could be embarrassed all season long.
On the opposite side of the field, the offensive line is weak to say the least, with one of its worst line’s in the past two decades.
The only returning regular starter on the offensive line is Taylor Decker. He moves to left tackle from right tackle so he can give quarterback Braxton Miller more time to take care of business.
With a weak offensive line, the Buckeyes could be forced to pass more often as their running game could be easily stopped.
If Miller is forced to scramble too often, he could be prone to making mistakes. Three top linemen for Ohio State graduated or left, making the protection for Miller highly suspect.
Other top players have moved on due to graduation or the NFL and those included Bradley Roby, Ryan Shazier, Corey Brown and Carlos Hyde. The Buckeyes will also open up with a new placekicker, as Drew Basil is gone.
However, regardless of the drawbacks some might think the Buckeyes have this season, you cannot ignore a record of 24-2 the past two seasons.
The Buckeyes lost Miller last season during the middle of the season but fortunately had Kenny Guiton a steady yet unspectacular backup.
Odds makers at topbet and betonline point out Guiton is gone and Ohio State has little experience if Miller went down with an injury.
If Miller were to be injured, the Buckeyes season could finish 7-5 or even worse at 6-6.
Ohio State’s regular season is highlighted by big games late in the season against Big 10 rivals Michigan State and Michigan.
With weaknesses on both sides of the ball, Ohio State could struggle to win the 10.5 it is listed at.
I like an UNDER bet in the total, as Ohio State would have to beat either Michigan State or Michigan or possible both if another team defeats them early in the season.