I think this is a really great spot for the Buckeyes, and I don't think this way because of any bias. I think this is a favorable match-up for a variety of reasons.
Georgia's defense has been very good -- not as good as last season, when they basically jogged out an NFL defense every time they took the field, but very good nonetheless. Having said that, there are some weaknesses.
While I do think their front 7 could be disruptive in the run game, I don't see their defensive line being able to put much pressure on Stroud, even if Ohio State can't effectively soften Georgia's defense with a rushing attack. Georgia was near the bottom of the SEC in sacks despite having some good personnel up there, and Ohio State's offensive line has been pretty incredible in terms of pocket protection. Stroud should have a lot of time to find his very skilled suite of receivers open on the perimeter. Remember, Georgia has had tendency to allow pretty big games in the passing game (see both meetings with Alabama for reference), and that was with a better pass rush and secondary. Ohio State should be able to move the ball here
On the other side of the ball, I do think the match up is favorable to Ohio State. Georgia has done a nice job this year diversifying its offense, especially in their run game, and they’ve been very solid in the trenches. But I don’t think they have the over the top skill players in the passing game that can fully exploit the Buckeyes’ relatively weak secondary. The Buckeyes made tremendous strides over the last year in terms of being formidable against the run, and I think they have the right personnel to slow down Georgia’s rushing game and force Bennett to make plays with his arm. Bennett has been better than most thought, but he doesn’t seem like the type of guy who can go out and carry a team if needed. He just doesn’t quite have that skill set, and frankly his performance in the second half of the schedule has been underwhelming at best. That might be needed here, unless we see breakdowns in coverage for Ohio State similar to the Michigan game. Given how fresh that game is, doubt we see Ohio State fail to make adjustments there
I’m still going back and forth on the money line. It seems like good value cheaper than +200 given the favorable match ups, but I think line may provide the best value. I do anticipate a close game regardless of winner, so 7 is a bit too much IMO
2-team 6-pt teaser: Michigan -1.5 & Ohio State +13 +100
The line for TCU/Michigan is tough, so I decided to approach this game a little bit differently.
TCU has been a really nice story this year, and they have proven over and over again that they aren’t a team that’s going to roll over. So I’m not confident that Michigan can simply blow them out like the line suggests. However, I do have a bit of confidence that Michigan will at the very least find a way to win.
Michigan’s defense is going to be a test that TCU simply has not come that close to confronting all year long. While there are soft spots on the perimeter, and think TCU has the playmakers to move the ball a bit through the air, it is extremely hard to execute against Michigan. You saw Michigan not long ago be content with letting Ohio State’s speed and talent at WR have its way at times between the 20s, but the Wolverines each time were able to clamp down and make plays in the red zone. They’re VERY good at doing that. TCU doesn’t quite have the speed and skill Ohio State does, so I think the odds of them consistently penetrating Michigan’s defense and, more importantly, executing consistently in the red zone is pretty low.
TCU showed some progress defensively as the year went on, but it’s no secret that they are flawed on that end of the field. I really don’t like how their front 7 matches up with Michigan’s offensive line. We have seen all year long how stellar the run blocking scheme of Michigan has been, and they truly have the ability to wear down pretty much anyone. I think in this particular case, because of the mismatch, you could see Michigan control a lot of the clock. It’s possible that the Wolverines are a little slow out of the gate offensively, but as the game wears on and fatigue sets in a bit, I expect Michigan’s offensive line to really have its way and make things frustrating for TCU. The passing game from Michigan is far from lethal, but you could see them at certain points have some big play opportunities off play action because of how good their run game performs.
The hesitance of laying 7.5 is that Michigan is the type of team that is content with playing an old school, junkyard type of ball game (side note: maybe take a peak at the under here as well). I also don’t fully trust Harbaugh in these types of games, though he is starting to restore some faith in his name. Plus, TCU has been resilient all year long and has found ways to come back when seemingly dead. They are well-coached and will play to the final whistle, and also have the explosiveness and speed to make some big plays when you least expect it.
All that said, there are plenty of arguments to really like Michigan. So them essentially winning the game outright — what we need for this teaser — seems like a solid approach to this game
Obviously I’ve hashed out reasons to like Ohio State at 7, so at 13 I’m going to really like them. Hopefully they do their job and we cash this one