The Ohio State Buckeyes are eight-point favorites to win the 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic versus the USC Trojans on Friday on December 29th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Many a fan gambling on college football as well as offshore bookmaker may decide to lay chalk on the Buckeyes on account of OSU’s top talents having seemingly no fear of injuries affecting the NFL draft first round prospects. For instance, Junior Cornerback Denzel Ward is expected to make his last stand with the Buckeyes, as is defensive end Sam Hubbard. “Not in my mind, nope,” Hubbard replied when asked whether he would miss the Cotton Bowl. Meanwhile, “Even if I decide to leave, I’m playing regardless. I can’t leave my brothers behind,” junior linebacker Jerome Baker said. Starting quarterback J.T. Barrett has expressed a similar stance. And as a senior he’s 100% positive he’s leaving.
Has Sam Hubbard considered not playing in the Cotton Bowl at all: “Not in my mind, nope.” pic.twitter.com/N7EzPYb2IA
— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) December 8, 2017
Another potential NFL draft pick at Ohio State shoots down possibility of missing Cotton Bowl. Jerome Baker: “Even if I decide to leave, I’m playing regardless. I can’t leave my brothers behind.” pic.twitter.com/cf14P8nNSM
— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) December 15, 2017
The 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic
- Date: Friday, 29th December
- Time: 8:35 PM
- Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Vegas odds College Football Betting:
USC +8 (-115) 64½ (-110) +245
Ohio State -8 (-105) 64½ (-110) -290
OSU=Over and straight-up?
Following a 55-24 loss as 20.5 favorites in early November that pretty much dashed Ohio State their College Football Playoff hopes, OSU has held opposing teams to just 14.5 points and 223.3 yards per game. This is proof that defensive players such as the ones mentioned above have indeed kept their feet on the ground and not allowed their heads to go on flights of fancy about the NFL. Having said that, though, a five-star performance in the 2017 Cotton Bowl could help Ward leapfrog Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick in the draft, or Barrett stick it to critics who refuse to give him his due even after making and breaking numerous Ohio State and Big Ten records.
For all their defensive acumen, the Buckeyes have managed to push the total over in eight of their last 10 games (the total has gone over in five of the Trojan’s last seven as well, which combined with the preceding tidbit should allow people gambling in college football to put two and two together). Furthermore, the Buckeyes are 4-0 SU in their last four games, 6-1 ATS in their last seven at neutral-site, 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 playing Pac-12 teams, 4-1 ATS in their last five on Friday, and 3-7 ATS playing a team with a winning record.
USC has been unable to cover against Big Ten teams
The Trojans are also coming off from a successful Pac 12 championship effort, their first in nine seasons, beating Stanford 31-28. QB Sam Darnold will have to play at the same level as Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Iowa’s Nathan Stanley, who combined for 612 passing yards with eight TDs and no picks in OSU’s two losses of the season, if USC (and people gambling on college football) wants to overcome Ohio State.
USC is 0-6 ATS in its last six games playing Big Ten opposition as well as 2-5 ATS against a team with a winning record, 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games, 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 overall and 0-4 ATS in their last four on Friday.