No. 3 Ohio State opened its Big Ten schedule with a sweeping win over Wisconsin this past weekend. For Rutgers, which started 3-0 but lost handily to Iowa this past weekend, this game may be more about staying competitive than actually winning as the Buckeyes look to keep their playoff hopes on track.
Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this Saturday afternoon matchup in Columbus.
Rutgers vs. Ohio State Odds
Ohio State enters as a 39-point home favorite, with the over/under set at 56.5 points.
As expected, the Buckeyes are massive favorites after their quick dismantling of Wisconsin this past weekend. Ohio State’s slow start offensively in Week 1 has looked like nothing more than an aberration over these last three games, even with standout receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba sidelined.
The over/under sitting at only 56.5 points despite Ohio State’s status as a 39-point favorite indicates a complete lack of faith in Rutgers’ offense. Can the Scarlet Knights keep this competitive in such a tough environment?
Rutgers vs. Ohio State Prediction & Pick
Ohio State can absolutely win this game by 40+ points. Rutgers has relied on turnovers to score points against power-five competition this season, and the Buckeyes will not let them get those turnovers. The offense is too loaded from top to bottom for a decent Rutgers defense to slow down, especially on the road, and it’s tough to see Greg Schiano’s team scoring many points with its offense unless Ohio State truly takes its foot off the gas in garbage time.
With C.J. Stroud firing on all cylinders and the dual-threat running game beginning to torment defenses, expect Ohio State to pile on the points in this one. Even with Rutgers’ severe offensive struggles, the over/under might be on the low end when you consider what Ohio State’s offense is capable of. It feels like the Buckeyes can push 50 points in this one, unless Ryan Day chooses to pull back the reins early. Considering Stroud played all but one drive in Ohio State’s 31-point win over Wisconsin this past weekend, that isn’t a huge concern.
Prediction: Ohio State covers -39
Rutgers vs. Ohio State Key Matchups
Rutgers’ defense has been rock solid this season – most of the points the Scarlet Knights gave up in the loss to Iowa were the result of turnovers – but this team hasn’t faced any offense like Ohio State’s. The Buckeyes simply have too many ways to beat defenses.
Rutgers’ run defense impressed over the first three weeks, but if that’s the case again this weekend, C.J. Stroud and his band of receivers can overpower the secondary. At the same time, Ohio State has a dynamic rushing attack with TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams. Rutgers hasn’t faced a backfield as talented as this one yet this season.
It’s tough to fully gauge the Buckeyes’ defense, considering the offenses they’ve shut down (Notre Dame, Wisconsin) aren’t great to begin with. The good news for Ohio State? Rutgers’ offense isn’t any good either. Quarterback Evan Simon has just two touchdowns in four games, and he was held to under 100 passing yards against both Boston College and Temple.
The Scarlet Knights’ offense makes the offenses of Notre Dame and Wisconsin look like juggernauts, so the Buckeyes should have no problem shutting it down. Rutgers’ passing game figures to be a non-factor just like Wisconsin’s was against Ohio State.
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