Ohio State vs. Nebraska: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (11/6/21)

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Betting Odds

No days off in the Big Ten.

CJ Stroud and the 7-1 Buckeyes travel to Lincoln to take on Adrian Martinez and the 3-6 Cornhuskers.

While Nebraska sports a lousy record, they’re 5-4 against the spread (ATS) this season. However, the team is coming off three straight SU and ATS losses, against Purdue, Minnesota, and Michigan.

With the Cornhuskers catching more than two touchdowns at home today, it might be a prime spot for them to cover again. However, the Buckeyes’ explosive offense can out-power anybody.

Ohio State Buckeyes Odds

The Buckeyes are the best offense in football, bar none.

CJ Stroud is incredibly talented but is backed up by the most explosive receiving core in the nation. As a result, the Buckeyes rank fifth in Pass Success Rate, seventh in Finishing Drives, and first in Big Plays.

Stroud’s offensive line has also been tremendous, ranking 21st in Pass Blocking and 11th in Line Yards.

However, let’s just look at the good old-fashioned counting stats. Because they pop off the page:

  • 2 points per game (1st in FBS)
  • 4,385 total yards (2nd in FBS)
  • 24 yards per play (2nd in FBS)
  • 43 offensive touchdowns (6th in FBS)
  • 2,770 passing yards (6th in FBS)
  • 53 yards per attempt (2nd in FBS)

The Buckeyes also convert on third downs at the second-highest rate (54.3%) and are the seventh most efficient Red Zone offense.

The defense has faltered at times, but the Buckeyes have mightily improved in recent weeks. Specifically, on the ground, where the Buckeyes have allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the Big Ten and rank 15th in Defensive Rush Success Rate.

Nebraska Cornhuskers Odds

The Cornhusker offense circles around Martinez, who’s thrown for 2200 yards at 9.5 yards per attempt while leading the team in rushing (438 yards on 104 attempts).

However, that approach has been working. The team averages 6.5 yards per play and ranks inside the top-25 in EPA per play.

They’ve been especially good on the ground, where the team ranks 11th in Rush Success Rate.

But while they’ve had success running the ball, the offensive line hasn’t been great at protecting Martinez, ranking 123rd in Pass Blocking. That’s bad, as Martinez is very turnover-prone and has already made 12 Turnover Worthy Plays this season (to just 13 Big Time Throws).

If Martinez is kept relatively clean and doesn’t turn the ball over, he can score points against a relatively weak Buckeye secondary.

Prediction and Pick 

My pick: Nebraska +15 (-105 at BetMGM)

As I mentioned, the Buckeyes are not infallible against the pass. They rank 85th in Defensive Pass Success Rate and 73rd in PFF’s coverage grades. The Buckeye defense can cause Havoc, so if Martinez is careless, this game can get out of hand.

However, I trust Scott Frost and co. in this spot. The Cornhuskers are 3-0 ATS this season as underdogs, and Ohio State will be on the road after an emotional win against Penn State.

All-in-all, Ohio State has played a very light schedule. In their two games against ranked teams this year, the Buckeyes are 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS.

I’m not saying Nebraska is a good team, but 15 points are probably overvaluing the Buckeyes in this particular spot.

I’m happy to take the points in this spot and hope the Nebraska offense scores enough to stay within the number.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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