Can No. 8 Ohio State Avoid Upset Against UNLV and Dangerous Pair in Week 4 Matchup?
The eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes have a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender in quarterback J.T. Barrett and a clearly gifted runner in true freshman J.K. Dobbins, but they’ll need to be on guard to avoid the upset against a UNLV Rebels team that has its own pair of dangerous stars in dual-threat signal-caller Armani Rogers and running back Lexington Thomas.
Now, let’s find out if the Buckeyes can get the win and ATS cover as whopping 40.5-point home faves when this game goes down on Saturday at Ohio Stadium while airing live on the Big Ten Network.
UNLV Rebels vs Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Week 4 Line & Betting Tips
UNLV Rebels (1-1) at Ohio State Buckeyes (2-1)
When: Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 12:00 PM ET
Where: Ohio Stadium
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -40.5
Why Bet the UNLV Rebels Odds at +40.5
The Rebels suffered a stunning loss in their regular season opener but bounced back in a big way to beat the stuffing out of Idaho, 44-16 the last time out. Running back Lexington Thomas ran for a career-high 190 yards and three touchdowns while dual-threat quarterback Armani Rogers completed 10-of-16 passes for 193 yards with one touchdown and one interception while adding 86 rushing yards and one score in the convincing victory.
Rogers and wide receiver Devonte Boyd connected on a 94-yard touchdown play and Boyd finished with two catches for 103 yards, giving him a school-record 13, 100-yard games Defensively, UNLV limited Idaho to just 5-for-15 success on third downs.
“This was a must-win game,” Thomas said. “We had to win this game. Everybody knew in the locker room. You could tell the demeanor was totally different during practice. Everybody was going hard, there was less goofing around. And we came out and we were ready to play.”
Why Bet the Ohio State Buckeyes Odds at -40.5
Ohio State looked fantastic in bouncing back from their stunning 31-16 Week 2 home loss to Oklahoma and Baker Mayfield. The Buckeyes pounded Army in its 38-7 in Week 3 although they failed to cover the spread as a 32.5-point home favorite.
J.T. Barrett completed 25 of 33 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns, but it was true freshman J.K. Dobbins that led the Buckeyes to victory with 172 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns as No. 8 Ohio State rebounded from their 31-16 home loss against Oklahoma the week before. Dobbins shined again after rushing for 181 yards in the season opener at Indiana.
"He’s a perfect tailback," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "He’s the space player we need."
For the season, Barrett is completing 62.1 percent of his passes for 757 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Defensively, Ohio State limited run-first Army to just 19 passing yards.
Barrett’s two scores gave him the all-time Big Ten lead over Purdue’s Drew Brees.
"The heart of a lion," head coach Urban Meyer said of Barrett. "He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever been around, so that’s pretty good characteristics to have for the guy touching the ball every snap."
Betting Tip UNLV Rebels vs Ohio State Buckeyes
While 52 percent of public bettors already like the Buckeyes to cover the insane point spread, I’m thinking that figure is way too high for J.T. Barrett and company to cover.
UNLV has gone 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games against Big Ten teams while Ohio State has posted an uninspiring 1-5 ATS mark in their last 6 home games and 1-5 ATS mark in their last 6 games overall.
Simply put, Ohio State will hold it down at home to get the SU win, but I’m not seeing a 41-point win by the Buckeyes to cover the spread as 40.5-point home faves. Go with the 42 percent of public bettors that like the Rebels to win and cover the spread!
Pick: UNLV +40.5