After a heartbreaking defeat in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, No. 3 Ohio State is ready to contend for a national championship in 2023. That journey begins with a road meeting against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.
A rare conference test might be just what the Buckeyes ordered, as they begin life after quarterback C.J. Stroud, who was drafted by the Houston Texans in the 2023 NFL Draft. Kyle McCord has won the starting job for Game 1, but we should expect to see Devin Brown in action after a tightly contested battle during preseason camp.
McCord has attempted just 58 passes in his career but has been with Ohio State for the last two years. He has thrown for 606 yards and three touchdowns. Brown, on the other hand, was a four-star recruit in the 2022 recruiting class.
With both quarterbacks having something to prove, and the rest of the offense loaded with NFL talent, Ohio State has a chance to really pour it on against Indiana. That seems to be what oddsmakers believe entering the weekend.
FanDuel Sportsbook has listed the Buckeyes as 29.5-point road favorites with a total of 59.5 for this Week 1 battle.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Indiana vs. Ohio State
Time/TV: 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread (from FanDuel): Ohio State -29.5 (-115)
Moneyline: Ohio State -10000/Indiana +2200
Analysis: This game should be decided well before the second half begins, as is usually the case when these two teams meet. Ohio State rolled to a 56-14 victory over Indiana during a home meeting last November.
With the game on the road, it’s tough to bet on the Buckeyes to win by 30. They are motivated to not let up, as they hope to see what both of their quarterbacks can do in game action this weekend.
That’s probably why FanDuel doesn’t have any passing props as of this writing. Running back TreVeyon Henderson has an over/under of 84.5 rushing yards, while receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. (85.5 yards) and Emeka Egbuka (67.5 yards) are also listed in the receiving props market. That could be a good way of betting on offensive production for Ryan Day’s elite unit.
But the best betting angle is likely on the total here, where the under is the play at anything 59 or better.
OSU’s defense should show signs of improvement in the second year in Jim Knowles’ system, and Indiana shouldn’t pose a serious threat. The Hoosiers are starting Tayven Jackson at quarterback after he transferred from Tennessee, but a matchup against Ohio State is not the ideal way to get the season started.
Prediction: Ohio State 42, Indiana 10