Vegas Has the Buckeyes Favored to Go 12-0 in 2013
By Tony Gerdeman
The Ohio State Buckeyes were underdogs on the football field twice last season – at Michigan State (+2) and at Wisconsin (+1). Despite being expected to lose those two games, the Buckeyes somehow overcame the odds, and finished a perfect 12-0.
This season, according to Las Vegas casino The Golden Nugget, Ohio State will do last year's team two better, and be favored in all 12 regular season games.
The Golden Nugget has released 250 college football betting lines, and while they haven't listed Buffalo at Ohio State, or Florida A&M at Ohio State, we can surmise that they aren't expecting the Buckeyes to lose either of those.
According to BetOnline.com, Ohio State is a 33-point favorite over season-opening opponent Buffalo, which we have touched on previously.
San Diego State comes to Columbus the following week and The Golden Nugget has them as 21.5-point underdogs to OSU. Ohio State is 3-0 all-time against the Aztecs, with the largest margin of victory being 21 points in 2005's 27-6 win.
The third game of the season has Ohio State taking to the road for the first time, as they head to face California. While fans may be worried about this game, Vegas isn't. The Buckeyes are currently a 21-point favorite against the Golden Bears. If last year is any indication, however, Vegas might be in for a bit of a surprise.
After the Cal game, the Buckeyes head home for a needless game against Florida A&M.
The FAMU game, however, is actually a nicely-placed contest as it comes one week before the Badgers come calling. Currently, The Golden Nugget has Ohio State favored by 11 points against Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have been favored by double digits against Wisconsin just four times over the last 21 seasons. They are 3-1 in those games, but have covered just twice.
After Wisconsin, the Buckeyes head for a trap game at Northwestern. Ohio State is currently an eight-point favorite at Evanston. Since their 2004 meeting, where the Buckeyes were upset as an 11-point favorite, Jim Tressel made it a point to leave no doubt when it came to the Wildcats and his good friend Pat Fitzgerald. In the four games since that loss, Ohio State won all those games by a combined score of 205-34 (51.3 - 8.5 avg).
Iowa is next on the schedule, and The Golden Nugget has the Buckeyes favored by 23 points against Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes. That would represent their largest mark against Iowa since Ohio State was a 25-point favorite against them in 1998.
Penn State follows up, and they are currently a 16-point underdog in Columbus. Ohio State has been a double-digit favorite four times against the Nittany Lions in the last two decades and covered each time.
The Buckeyes then begin their November schedule with a trip to West Lafayette, where The Golden Nugget has them favored by 17 points over the Boilermakers. They were favored by 17 points in last season's 29-22 overtime win against Purdue in the Horseshoe as well. Since the Joe Tiller Era (1997), OSU has been a double-digit favorite over Purdue just three times. One of those games was vacated (2010), one was the 2009 loss to the Boilers, and the other was a 16-3 win for Ohio State.
Ohio State then heads to Illinois where the weather is rarely cooperative. Despite that, the Buckeyes are currently a 23-point favorite over the Illini. They were a 25-point favorite last year against Illinois, covering with a 52-22 win.
After the two-game road trip, the Buckeyes finish their home schedule with a game against Indiana. The Golden Nugget has the Hoosiers as a 25-point underdog against Ohio State. They were a 19-point underdog in last season's 52-49 Buckeye win. Indiana has beaten the spread in their last two games against Ohio State.
The Buckeyes then cap their regular season with a trip to Ann Arbor. Right now, the Buckeyes are six-point favorites against the Wolverines. Ohio State has been a road favorite in this game just four times in the last 21 seasons. They are 3-1 in those games, with the wins coming in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The lone loss was 1995.
The last time Ohio State was at least a six-point favorite in every game was 1998, where they were a double-digit favorite every single week.
The Buckeyes have also been favored in all of their games in 2010, 2007 and 2002. So if history is any indication, the 2013 Buckeyes will either be playing in the BCS National Championship, or vacating their entire season.
Other Notable Lines
Northwestern (-10.5) at California
Alabama (-17) vs Virginia Tech
Georgia (-3.5) at Clemson
LSU (-4) vs TCU
South Carolina at Georgia (-4)
Syracuse at Northwestern (-13)
Notre Dame at Michigan (Pick em)
Florida (-2.5) at Miami
Wisconsin at Arizona State (Pick em)
Iowa at Iowa State (-4)
UCLA at Nebraska (-6)
Alabama (-6) at Texas A&M
Washington (-11) at Illinois
Notre Dame (-14) at Purdue
Michigan State at Notre Dame (-6)
West Virginia (-2) at Maryland
Texas A&M (-17) at Arkansas
LSU at Georgia (-6)
Oklahoma at Notre Dame (-2)
Michigan State (-9) at Iowa
Minnesota at Michigan (-15)
South Carolina (-12) at Arkansas
Florida at LSU (-4)
Michigan (-2.5) at Penn State
Oklahoma vs Texas (Pick em)
Northwestern at Wisconsin (-6)
USC at Notre Dame (-5)
Florida State at Clemson (-2)
Stanford (-3) at Oregon State
Georgia (-4) vs Florida
Michigan at Michigan State (-3)
Nebraska at Michigan (-4)
Penn State (-8) at Minnesota
LSU at Alabama (-11.5)
Stanford at USC (-1)
Michigan at Northwestern (-3)
Michigan State at Nebraska (-6)
Florida at South Carolina (-5)
Oregon (-12) at Arizona
Michigan State at Northwestern (-3)
Texas A&M at LSU (-1)
Wisconsin (-10) at Minnesota
Nebraska at Penn State (Pick em)
Michigan (-10.5) at Iowa
Notre Dame at Stanford (-5.5)
Florida State at Florida (-2)
Minnesota at Michigan State (-14)
Penn State at Wisconsin (-9)
Northwestern (-13) at Illinoisxd
Clemson at South Carolina (-4.5)
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