We’re still a few months away from the return of college football, but the anticipation is slowly building across the country with spring practices in the books and the spring transfer portal window closed. Below, we continue our college football odds series with an over/under win total prediction for the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2023 season.
Here are the latest college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel
CFB Odds: Ohio State Regular Season Wins
Over 10.5 Wins: -115
Under 10.5 Wins: -105
Why Ohio State Could Hit The Under
Ohio State remains near the top of our way-too-early college football playoff rankings heading into the summer.
But the Buckeyes have some big shoes to fill after sending several of their best players to the league in the 2023 NFL Draft, including first-round picks in quarterback C.J. Stroud, offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. In addition, defensive end Zach Harrison, offensive tackle Dawand Jones, and center Luke Wypler profile as potential mid or late-round steals that were key to the Buckeyes’ success in the trenches, especially on offense.
But this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for Ohio State, as they typically lose at least a handful of standout prospects to the draft each year. Last year, they lost a pair of star receivers in the first dozen picks in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who ended up going on to become the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Tight end Jeremy Ruckert and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere also profile as potential mid-round steals from the 2022 draft.
They handled that adversity by coming up just a last-second missed kick away from a likely national title.
Ohio State also just lost a former four-star receiver in the transfer portal to a Big Ten rival. The offensive line also clearly remains a work in progress. And coach Ryan Day won’t name a starting quarterback until preseason camp.
With so many key departures to overcome, especially under center, it’s fair to question whether Ohio State can get over the hump with Michigan, and avoid potential letdowns against Penn State, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. Each of those Big Ten rivals are currently ranked in the top 20 in our early college football playoff rankings.
Why Ohio State Could Hit The Over
Quarterback Kyle McCord says it’s a championship-or-bust season for the Buckeyes.
That’s a high bar for any program, but it’s an understandable sentiment after the Buckeyes were a missed field goal away from punching their ticket to the national championship four months ago. They also capped off the previous season with a thrilling 48-45 win over Utah in an unforgettable Rose Bowl.
McCord reportedly impressed in spring practice and has the upper hand in the open quarterback competition. While we may not know the starter for another few months, coach Ryan Day has effusively praised McCord for his accuracy and intelligence. He’ll have an incredible cast of weapons to work with, assuming he wins the starting job.
Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, both projected first-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, combined for 151 receptions, 2,414 yards, and 24 touchdowns last season, and form the top returning WR duo in college football. Standout running back TreVeyon Henderson has his sights set on a big bounce-back year after an injury-plagued sophomore season. And when you add Miyan Williams, who figures to be leading the backfield, into the equation as well, it looks like the Buckeyes possess the best group of weapons in the nation.
Ohio State’s defense has also looked solid in practice, with Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau seeming poised for massive breakout campaigns. They still have a bad taste in their mouths after giving up 87 points to Michigan and Georgia.
Ohio State also produced another stellar recruiting class, which includes five five-stars (fourth-most in the nation) and 14 four-stars. Loaded with talent, depth, and experience, the Buckeyes are simply too talented and too well-coached not to be contending in the College Football Playoff. If Harrison Jr. didn’t get injured in the second half against Georgia, they probably would’ve been basking in the confetti.
The schedule also sets up nicely for the Buckeyes to shake off any potential rust at the start of the season against significantly inferior competition, with matchups against Indiana, Youngstown State, Western Kentucky, Maryland, and Purdue set to take place in the first half of the season, although there is a potentially daunting test and measuring stick game against Notre Dame sandwiched in the middle of that stretch.
Assuming injuries don’t become a major obstacle, the Buckeyes’ biggest challenges will be down the stretch against Penn State (Oct. 21), Wisconsin (Oct. 28), and of course Michigan (Nov. 25) in Ann Arbor.
Final Ohio State Win Prediction & Pick
As the season progresses, health, depth, and leadership will be key factors in the Buckeyes’ championship aspirations. Despite a decent amount of inevitable turnover, Ohio State’s well-equipped to handle the obstacles on its schedule and finish with yet another 11-plus win season as they finally topple Michigan in The Game.
Final Ohio State Prediction & Pick: Over 10.5 Wins: -115
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