Sports Illustrated

Ohio State a heavy favorite over Nebraska despite recent struggles

Sports Illustrated


The Ohio State Buckeyes are 17-1 straight up over their last 18 home games but just 4-10 against the spread over their last 14. The Buckeyes will look to extend their home winning streak to six games Saturday with a win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Ohio State is a 17-point home favorite at Ohio Stadium at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In the last meeting between these two teams, Ohio State beat Nebraska 63-38 at home in 2012.

Through the first four games of the season, the Buckeyes averaged 57 points per game and allowed only 9.3 points per game. That stretch included a 45-24 win over Oklahoma on the road.

But the last four games have seen the Buckeyes produce a more modest 28.3 points per game while allowing 21 points per game, resulting in an 0-4 ATS slump and an outright loss to Penn State. With the offensive line and defense struggling, Ohio State has gone from looking unbeatable to vulnerable in a short period of time.

Over the last 12 seasons, the Buckeyes are 12-0 SU and 9-3 ATS in games played in Week 10, per the OddsShark College Football Database .

Nebraska took advantage of a soft schedule to start the season with a 7-0 SU and 4-2-1 ATS record. The Cornhuskers got their first true test of the year on the road last week as a nine-point underdog against the Wisconsin Badgers. While Nebraska came up short in a 23-17 overtime loss, it held its own and proved to be a legitimate contender in the Big Ten.

Like Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers have a serious talent gap between themselves and Ohio State and Michigan, but their physical style and strong defense keep them competitive week to week.

The total on Saturday is set at 52 points . The UNDER is 7-0 in Nebraska's last seven games against Big Ten opponents.

Despite their recent struggles, the Buckeyes will likely be double-digit favorites in each of their next three games before clashing with Michigan in the final game of their regular season. A big win at home over a quality team like Nebraska could help the Buckeyes build some momentum heading into the final stretch.