Ohio State vs. Minnesota: Forecast and Odds……..

Minnesota vs. Ohio State: Prediction and Odds (11/18/23)

Minnesota vs. Ohio State kicks off this Saturday (11/18/23) at 4 p.m. EST in Columbus, Ohio, as a home game for the Buckeyes.

Discover our best bet on under 49 for Minnesota vs. Ohio State, which should be a defensive slugfest, below.

Minnesota vs. Ohio State Prediction

After a drubbing of Michigan State, only one more opponent stands in the Buckeyes’ way before the mega showdown against their rival Michigan.

A prime lookahead spot, having to decide on how to handle the lowly Minnesota Gophers and how much they want to show a week before the playoff deciding game.

That makes for an intriguing betting angle, giving value to an under in what should be a conservative game plan followed by elite defensive play.

Ohio State’s defense has been their lone consistent source of success at this point in the season. While Kyle McCord has been the definition of a roller coaster with his level of play, the Buckeyes’ defense has been dominant.

Ohio State’s defense as a whole currently ranks 12th in Def Success Rate, eighth in Def Explosiveness, third in Def Points per Opportunity, and 54th in Havoc.

When it comes to facing Minnesota, the Buckeyes’ front seven will need to continue their high level of play, which the Gophers call one of the heaviest doses of the run in the nation.

Minnesota currently runs at the 12th heaviest rate in football, yet ranks a lowly 80th in rush success rate, 103rd in PPA, and 115th in explosiveness.

That plays toward the Buckeyes’ defensive front as they clock in at 12th in Def Rush Success Rate, 13th in Def Rush PPA, and 50th in Explosiveness.

Having to defend the pass is practically a non-factor, yet it’s worth mentioning that the OSU secondary is capable of holding its own on an island as they grade out as elite in those same metrics through the air.

The same can’t be said for Minnesota’s back end, as they rank 83rd in Def Pass Success Rate and 64th in Explosiveness, yet they get the benefit of Ohio State reverting to a more run-heavy game script due to the schedule spot.

This works more in the Gophers’ favor because they rank 17th in Def Rush Explosiveness, 47th in Def Rush PPA, and 62nd in Def Rush Success Rate—all of which indicate how much better they are at stopping the run than the pass.

The Buckeyes’ ground game has actually been a weakness; they rank surprisingly low in explosiveness (126), 84th in PPA, and 52nd in rush success rate.

This is in large part of McCord’s inability to stretch the field, giving opposing defenses the opportunity to stack the box and dare him to beat them over the top.

Minnesota vs. Ohio State Prediction: Under 49


Minnesota vs. Ohio State Best Betting Odds

Even with Ohio State expected to run a very conservative game script, oddsmakers still believe this will be a blowout in their favor by opening them as a -27.5 favorite.

The number has remained the same since the opening because bettors have not yet made a definitive decision on either side of the spread.

This is an instant pass because Ryan Day’s decision to cancel the dogs will create an early backdoor opportunity.

As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a moderate pace, as they opened the number at 49.

Like the spread, bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number and have kept the total the same since the opener.

The potential game script calls for an under, with Minnesota struggling to move the ball and OSU being very limited in their playbook.

Minnesota vs. Ohio State Key Matchups

Can Minnesota contain star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.?

Marvin Harrison Jr vs. Minnesota Coverage

As previously mentioned, the Minnesota coverage is not exactly ideal when it comes to limiting pass success.

That doesn’t exactly bode well against the best wide receiver in football, as Marvin Harrison Jr. has run wild to the tune of 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Lucky for Minnesota, the limited game script may minimize Harrison Jr.’s exposure, as they will want to keep him healthy for their date with Michigan.

That may call for more quick throws and outs in the middle, negating his big-play ability and anchoring him down on the catch. This type of passing will bleed time off the clock, playing in the unders favor.

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