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Oklahoma Sooners vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Point Spread - Pick

Oklahoma Sooners (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 7:30PM EST
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: OKLA +7.5/OSU -7.5
Over/Under Total: 64

The Oklahoma Sooners come to Columbus to face the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday in a big matchup of ranked teams, both of whom have their sights set on big things for the 2017 season. Ohio St. got the season off to a winning start after a harder-than-it-looked 49-21 win over Indiana last Thursday. At times, they didn't look like the second-ranked team in the country, but in the end, they got the win and the cover. The Sooners, meanwhile, were able to have a more incident-free opening week, as they hammered UTEP, 56-7. For the Sooners, all appears to be in order for this gigantic matchup.

Watching Ohio State struggle against Indiana didn't paint a flattering portrait, at least not for the purposes of this game and what is a much more-difficult matchup. That came against a home Indiana team that might be a lot better than advertised. And in the first game of the season, Indiana's frenetic offense with the super-high tempo approach probably had the Ohio State "D" gasping for breath. The quarterback/wide receiver package they faced against Indiana might be one of the better ones they will face—believe it or not. But the offense, which they wanted to make more-explosive, struggled at an alarming rate against the Hoosier defense and only got separation later in the second half in what had been a competitive game where they actually trailed at the half.

The Buckeyes' defense at times struggled against Indiana. Hoosiers quarterback Richard Lagow threw for 410 yards and at times the defense struggled to contain weapons like Simmie Cobbs, Jr. and Luke Timian. It made one think what might happen when the Buckeyes face some of the talent like the kind they're going to face in this game. Jordan Miller and Denzel Ward each got interceptions, but the secondary has lost some real playmakers in the past few years and some of that showed against Indiana.

This season was supposed to signal an upturn in the Buckeyes' offense. By the second half, we saw some of that materialize. JT Barrett overcame a slow start and ended up with over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns. Barrett also ran for 61 yards and a score. He made a nice connection with Parris Campbell, a receiver who is supposed to be a big part of this offense. He had 136 yards and a touchdown and a big 74-yard reception for a score. Junior receiver Johnnie Dixon had a big game, as well, with 65 yards and a touchdown.


With Ohio State running back and returning 1000-yard rusher Mike Weber (day-to-day) nursing a bad hamstring, true freshman J.K. Dobbins showed what he can do with 181 yards on the ground in his first collegiate action. Sophomore back Antonio Williams ran for two touchdowns. On one hand, they looked bad in not scoring until there was 5 minutes in the second half. But by the second half, they were in fine form. A more complete performance from both sides of the ball will be required to win this game.

Oklahoma is led by head coach Lincoln Riley, who just turned 34. He already is given a chance to build his big-time resume with what would be a huge win this week. Their coach getting canned in the offseason may have made some forget that the Sooners won their last ten games last season and enter this with an 11-game win streak. And while they are missing some key pieces, like a backfield that was stripped of its major contributors and a defensive front-seven that lost a lot of juice, a lot of key pieces return.

That includes Heisman candidate QB Baker Mayfield and a line that is all back for the 2017 season. Mayfield's work in week one was phenomenal, completing 19 of 20 passes with three touchdown throws. He completed his first 16 passes and looked every bit the future NFL star some project him to be. Sure, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine have gone on to the NFL, but we saw a few guys who could shine. Running backs Abdul Adams, Marcelias Sutton, and Trey Sermon all did well with the ball and Rodney Anderson, Dmitri Flowers, and Jaxon Uhles all scored on the ground. Mark Andrews had a big day receiving with 134 yards and a TD. Kentucky transfer Jeff Badet showed he could become a big weapon in this offense with 91 yards. Lee Morris also caught a TD pass, as did freshman TE Grant Calcaterra.

Oklahoma is looking for a more-impactful pass-rush this season and have moved to a 3-4 base defense. Inexperience in the front seven was often sited in preseason reports as a cause of concern for the Sooners. And if there is, it would likely show here and not against the likes of UTEP. But on the line, end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was good, as was DT Marquise Overton, who had a big game, including a fumble recovery. Senior LB Emmanuel Beal looked good and we'll see if youth can rise to the occasion against what is an infinitely more-difficult offense in the Buckeyes. In other words, a lot of defenses will look good this season against UTEP.

Ohio State may have gotten off to a good start against an unthreatening-seeming Indiana team that hasn't beaten them forever on the road last week. In their home-opener against a legit national contender like Oklahoma, one could expect a more on-point Ohio State. Oklahoma's defense has a lot to prove in this game, but so does Ohio State's after looking dicey at times against Indiana's offense. At the end of the day, We see a close game and feel the 7.5 points might come in handy. We're taking the Sooners.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oklahoma Sooners plus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Sooners vs. Buckeyes game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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