Has Rutgers arrived as a legitimate Big10 program? That is the question heading into their contest with perennial powerhouse Ohio State. They have checked all the boxes so far in 2021. The Scarlet Knights hung around at Michigan, trounced Temple and Delaware, and suffocated Syracuse. Their prize? Ohio State and Michigan State at SHI Stadium these next two weeks. First, the Buckeyes enter New Jersey riding an uninspiring start to the season. They are the youngest group THE Ohio State University has ever trotted, and it has shown. Can Rutgers take advantage of the youth and inexperience to finally collect a signature moment for the football program?
Pags’ NCAAF Picks YTD: 13-4-1 (+9.0 units)
- Opening Line: Ohio State -17
- Current Line: Ohio State -15.5
- Over/Under: 58
- Location: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
- Start Time: 3:30 PM ET
- Last Meeting: Ohio State 49, Rutgers 27
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud rested a nagging injury last week as his team dominated Akron 59-7. Questions come into this week regarding whether Stroud will be under center against Rutgers. Ryan Day almost put those questions to bed, stating he would be the starter — if healthy. Regardless of the starter, this offense has the firepower, and it all starts up front on the offensive line. OT Nicholas Petit-Frere hasn’t allowed a sack since 2019, spanning 461 pass snaps. It is that kind of protection helping the young Buckeyes average 43 points per game thus far.
Rutgers is happy to grind the game down to the bones, controlling the time of possession and keeping their opponent’s offense sidelined. The Scarlet Knight’s defense had allowed just 150 yards through the air per game and only 263 yards of average total offense against them in 2021. Keeping playmakers in front of them has been key to Rutgers being 4-0 ATS on the year. Undoubtedly, this will be their stiffest test to date.
- Ohio State is 3-6-1 in their last 10 games against the spread
- Totals have gone OVER in 7 of Ohio State’s last 10 games
- Rutgers is 4-0 ATS in 2021
- Totals have gone UNDER in 5 of Rutgers’ last 7 games
- Ohio State leads the all-time series 7-0
Rutgers’ possession game will keep these teams from eclipsing FanDuel Sportsbook‘s total of 58. Under 58 is our favorite bet in this contest. As for Ohio State covering 15.5 points, that will depend on how many big plays their offense can create. If they fall victim, akin to Michigan last week, to the Scarlet Knight defensive line clogging running lanes, they won’t be able to put the game away. However, the Buckeye offense is so potent, and we believe they will eventually break through. There might be a sweat building coming out of halftime but look for Ryan Day to put his athletes in a position to win the one-on-one battles necessary to cover.
Prediction: Ohio State 34, Rutgers 16
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategies — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.