The Ohio Slate: Third-ranked Buckeyes Heavy Favorites Over Struggling Spartans

In hockey, the Columbus Blue Jackets are considered a Stanley Cup longshot

The Ohio Slate is a weekly look at developments in Ohio’s gaming industry — including betting angles  — as the state prepares to launch legal sportsbooks on Jan. 1, 2023.

Third-ranked Ohio State (5-0) has been the favorite in every game it has played this fall.

FanDuel has the Buckeyes, who have outscored their opponents by an average of 34 points per game, as 26.5-point favorites in a Big Ten matchup against a struggling Michigan State team that has dropped its last three contests after opening the season with back-to-back wins. FanDuel has the over/under at 64.5 points and the moneyline at -4000 for the Buckeyes and +1400 for the Spartans.

DraftKings projects the Buckeyes as 27-point favorites over the Spartans and lists the over/under at 65 points, with the moneyline at -5000 for Ohio State and +1700 for Michigan State. BetRivers has Ohio State as an even bigger favorite at 27.5 points, while listing the over/under at 65 points.

As for prop bets, BetRivers lists Ohio State at -345 for first team to score and Michigan State at +230.

Buckeyes bringing the offensive firepower

Ohio State’s offense has been lethal through the first five games of the season. The Buckeyes have scored at least 45 points in four of those games, including a 77-point explosion in a blowout of Toledo.

The Buckeyes have moved the ball with a balanced offensive attack, gaining 1,131 rushing yards and 1,561 passing yards. Quarterback C.J. Stroud has completed 92 of 134 passes for 1,376 yards, including 18 touchdowns, while being intercepted twice.

Emeka Egbuka leads the receiving corps with 30 receptions for 512 yards, including five TD receptions. Marvin Harrison Jr. has pulled in 24 passes for 405 receiving yards, including a team-leading six TDs.

The Buckeyes’ passing game has thrived despite Jaxson Smith-Njigba being sidelined with an injury for most of the season. Smith-Njigba, who led Ohio State a year ago with 95 catches for 1,606 receiving yards, has played in only two games this season, tallying four catches for 36 yards.

Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson lead a ground game that averages 226 rushing yards per contest. Williams has a team-leading 497 rushing yards on 64 carries, including eight TDs. Henderson has added 318 yards on 50 carries, including three scores.

The Spartans (2-3) have struggled with being consistent offensively, but have outscored their opponents by an average of 27.4 to 22.6 points per game.  Quarterback Payton Thorne has passed for 1,121 yards, including eight TDs, and Jalen Berger is their leading rusher with 301 yards, including four TDs.

Columbus grouped among Stanley Cup longshots

With the 2022-23 NHL season about to get underway on Friday, what’s the future looking like for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are coming off a sixth-place finish in the Metropolitan Division?

Caesars Sportsbook has Columbus, Washington, Nashville, and Vancouver as 60/1 longshots to win the Stanley Cup, while recognizing defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado as the favorite to win again with odds of +400. The group of four at 60/1 are not facing the longest odds to win the Stanley Cup, as Philadelphia (175/1), Chicago (200/1), and Arizona (300/1) are the biggest longshots to win it all.

Led by left wing Johnny Gaudreau, who signed a free-agent contract with Columbus during the offseason, the Blue Jackets begin their quest for a Stanley Cup title on the road at Carolina on Wednesday.

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