Buckeyes look to avoid Upset against Northwestern

The No. 4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes enter their game against Big 10 rivals Northwestern on Saturday undefeated and as confident as ever.

The Buckeyes are 5-0 SU and 3-1-1 ATS. Ohio State has won four straight matchups with Northwestern both outright and against the spread.

However, this season Northwestern is ranked No. 16 and the Wildcats come in as prepared as ever to take on one of their biggest nemesis’ the Buckeyes.

Ohio State has covered the last four meetings with Northwestern by over 23 points a game. However, this season should be different, the Wildcats should give Ohio State all they can handle and could even upset the Buckeyes.

Most online sportsbooks such as Bovada and betonline have the Buckeyes as 7-point favorites after opening at 5.5.

Online sites topbet and sportsbook.com have had most of the action come in for Ohio State, with very little if any Northwestern money. The Buckeyes are a popular public team and most think of Northwestern as the doormat of the Big 10.

Most smart money bettors believe Northwestern is a good team, but have not faced any team with the kind of strength Ohio State possesses and will be a test for the Wildcats.

Ohio State on offense has fast receivers against an average secondary for the Wildcats. Both Devin Smith and Corey Brown have five catches each for touchdowns for Ohio State.

One advantage that Northwestern might have is they are well rested and that could help late in a close game. The Wildcats had last weekend off, while the Buckeyes defeated a talented Wisconsin team.

The Wildcats will also be getting Venric Mark back. He ran for 12 touchdowns and 1,366 yards last season, but has missed two games due to a turned ankle.

Northwestern has averaged nearly 250 yards per game on the ground, but against must less talented defenses. Treyvon Green has a 7 yards per carry average on the ground, and has scored five rushing touchdowns.

However, the Buckeyes were able to hold Wisconsin, which is a running team, to only 104 yards on the ground. Ohio State is ranked No. 8 nationally, allowing just 85 yards on the ground per game.

Ohio State offensively is averaging 48 points a game and will face a defense that is No. 87 in the nation in points allowed. Braxton Miller returned under center last week and threw four passes for touchdowns.

Ohio State loves the first quarter, outscoring their opponents this season 116-21.

Northwestern has a 6-0 ATS record in its past six games against conference teams. The Wildcats are also 9-2 ATS over their past 11 games at home and 14-3 ATS over their past 17 games overall.

Prediction: Ohio State 42-28