- Ohio State is a 13.5-point favorite over Minnesota on Thursday night. The over-under is set to 65.
- The Buckeyes lost in the national championship game last season.
- The Golden Gophers bring back the Big Ten’s reigning running back of the year in Mohamed Ibrahim.
Ah, finally — college football is back and Week 1 kicks off with a great matchup in the Big Ten. Ohio State is one of the favorites to win a national title this year, but Minnesota has eyes on an upset. The Buckeyes made it all the way to the national championship game last year, only to receive a beating from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Despite that embarrassing showing, Ohio State is expected to make some noise once again in 2021. Minnesota, on the other hand, is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 3-4 season.
Let’s take a closer look at Ohio State vs. Minnesota, complete with where to watch the game, betting odds, public trends, and a prediction.
How to Watch Ohio State vs. Minnesota Thursday
Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0)
Date: Thursday, September 2nd
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Broadcasters: Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst), Jenny Taft (sideline reporter)
Ohio State vs. Minnesota Betting Line
- Ohio State is a 13.5-point favorite on the road against Minnesota.
- The Buckeyes are -580 on the moneyline which gives them an approximate win probability of 85%.
- The total is set to 65.
Public Betting Trends
The public betting report is not out on Ohio State-Minnesota, but we expect to see plenty of action on the Buckeyes. They are currently listed at +600 to win the national championship. On paper, they should be able to handle Minnesota with ease. Ohio State is 45-7 all-time in this matchup and Minnesota’s last win came in 2000.
In 2020, the Golden Gophers were 2-3 straight up when entering a game as an underdog. The Buckeyes were 4-4 against the spread last year compared to Minnesota who finished 3-4 ATS.
But these teams are much different in 2021. Let’s take a closer look at this matchup.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota Game Notes
Big Ten football is starting off earlier than ever. Nebraska and Illinois kicked off the action in Week 0, but now all eyes are on Ohio State and Minnesota. One team looks to begin its path towards a national championship while the other tries to start the year off with a statement victory.
The Buckeyes are the overwhelming favorites in the Big Ten once again, but this is a position they are comfortable in. Last season, Ohio State finished with an undefeated record in Big Ten play. Other than Indiana, the Buckeyes beat every Big Ten opponent by double-digits.
How will the Buckeyes replace Justin Fields? C.J. Stroud is getting the call as the starting quarterback, but Ohio State head coach Ryan Day wouldn’t commit to Stroud in the long term.
The good news for Stroud is that Ohio State is never lacking at the skill positions. He’s going to have plenty of weapons at receiver and they will pound the rock with a deep running back group. After all, Ohio State is in the Big Ten, and in that conference, you run the football.
Speaking of running the football, that is exactly what Minnesota is going to do. They have the conference’s reigning running back of the year in Mohamed Ibrahim. It helps that Ibrahim is going to be running behind an experienced offensive line made up of five seniors.
So, if the Golden Gophers are looking to pull off the upset, they will need to control the clock. A strong running game led by Ibrahim could set the stage for Minnesota to have a chance in the fourth quarter. If they can do that, they have a chance at pulling off the upset.
This will be Ryan Day’s first game against the Golden Gophers since taking over for Urban Meyer. Minnesota’s head coach, P.J. Fleck, is winless against Ohio State, but he has taken his program to new heights. In 2019, Minnesota finished 11-2 and beat Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota Pick Week 1
Minnesota might surprise people this season, but they have a tough opening week matchup. Even though Ohio State has a few questions at key positions, the depth of talent is going to be too much for Minnesota to handle. Expect the Golden Gophers to run the ball, but they won’t stop the Buckeyes from running away with this one.
Prediction: Ohio State wins 42-17
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