Ohio State Will Crush Notre Dame Saturday At The ‘Horseshoe’

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It’s taken me a while to process the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes -17 (-110) being this big of a favorite vs. No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish +17 (-110) at Ohio Stadium Saturday. But, what’s becoming increasingly clear is the sportsbooks are BEGGING for pro-Notre Dame action.

The other angles for laying the lumber with the Buckeyes Saturday are Ohio State’s offense being the best in the country, again. And all the new stuff at Notre Dame including a rookie head coach and a new starting quarterback.

It’s a fat number but let’s BET the OHIO STATE BUCKEYES -17 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

C.J. Stroud Sends Warning Shots To Big Ten: 'Fastest I’ve Ever Been'
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Ohio State ‘Sticker Shock’

It’s stunning to see a 5th-ranked Notre Dame as 3-score underdogs even at “The Horseshoe”. But, there is a gap between the top-3 teams in the nation and everyone else.

No. 2 Ohio State is the 3rd-biggest favorite to win their division at DraftKings. The only bigger favorites are the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-600) in the SEC West and No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (-550) in the SEC East. However, the market is behaving like there isn’t a huge gap between Ohio State and Notre Dame.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of the money wagered is on Notre Dame +17 (-110) at DraftKings, per VSIN. The whole betting public is backing the Fighting Irish based on the same premise … “That’s too many points to give the No. 5-ranked team”.

But, regardless of the pro-Notre Dame wagers, Ohio State has gone from a 14-point favorite on the opener up to -17. Obviously, 17 is a key number in football because that’s a 3-score margin. Effectively, the oddsmakers are saying Notre Dame doesn’t belong on the same field as Ohio State.

I have to say I agree. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has been good money in these spots, the Buckeyes are still stacked and Notre Dame has its fair share of questions coming into 2022.

It’s ‘Reload Not Rebuild’ For Buckeyes

Ohio State Buckeyes WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches a touchdown pass during the 4th quarter in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. (Getty Images)

This Ohio State offense will be better despite several Buckeyes being selected in the 2022 NFL Draft including 1st-round WRs Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. That’s saying a lot considering Ohio State’s offense ranked 1st in schedule-based efficiency in 2021 per Football Outsiders.

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud enters the season as the Heisman Trophy favorite (+220) at DraftKings. Stroud has a ton of weapons and the best offensive line in the nation, according to Pro Football Focus. Also, Stroud is already rallying the team and increasing the vibes in the locker room.

Buckeyes’ former five-star recruits RB TreVeyon Henderson (+2200) and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (+2500) have been steamed down lately in the Heisman betting market. Smith-Njigba is allegedly the most talented Ohio State wide receiver to pass through the program in recent years.

Ohio State’s Defense Will Pummel Notre Dame’s Offense

Of course, the Buckeyes are stacked on defense. Their 43rd ranking in defensive efficiency (per Football Outsiders) last season was a blip. Ohio State’s defense has 10 four- or five-star recruits startering and ranks 13th in returning production, according to ESPN’s Bill Connelly.

The Buckeyes face a Fighting Irish offense with a new starting quarterback that ranks 113th in returning production. Simply put, Ohio State’s defense will get Notre Dame’s offense off the field quickly and the Fighting Irish will not keep up with the Buckeyes.

Ryan Day & Buckeyes Cover As Big Favorites

Since Day succeeded former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in 2019, the Buckeyes are 14-7 against the spread (ATS) as favorites of 17 or more with a plus-9.1 ATS margin. Also, Ohio State was 4-2 ATS in these spots in 2021.

Furthermore, Day has a clear coaching edge Saturday. Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly went to LSU this offseason and former defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman took the reigns. I’m neutral on Freeman but I doubt he out-schemes Day in his 1st day on the job.

  • A $110 bet on Ohio State -17 (-110) returns a $100 profit if the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame +17 (-110) by 18 or more points.

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Written by Geoff Clark

Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events.

Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

Clark graduated from St. John University.


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  1. Here’s why the ND bettors are suckers. The No. 5 team – who the heck knows? There is nothing is sports more stupid and more of a crapshoot than preseason college football rankings. To place a bet on the supposed “No. 5” team is why Vegas can afford all those lights.

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