Ohio State vs Northwestern 2018 Big Ten Championship Odds & Pick

Posted by Derrick Harper on November 30, 2018 in

It’s almost time for two of the best college football teams in the Midwest to square off at Lucas Oil Stadium for the eighth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game Saturday. Ohio State is looking to win its second consecutive Big Ten Championship and its third total. This is the fourth Big Ten Championship Game appearance for the NCAAF Betting Favorites Buckeyes and the first appearance for Northwestern.

Ohio State vs Northwestern Big Ten Championship Odds & Expert Pick

Buckeyes Loving Life

Despite getting blown out by Purdue and sleepwalking through the next month of the season, No. 6 Ohio State still has a shot at the Big Ten championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff thanks to its upset of the team that looked to be the best in the conference, Michigan, last week. However, the Buckeyes will face a hungry Northwestern squad that won the division for the first time in well, ever to earn its way into the 2018 Big Ten Championship Game. Currently, the Buckeyes are 14-point favorites in the game.

That was on full display as they accumulated 62 points against a Michigan defense that had been touted as the best in the nation. Quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, connected with nine different receivers on his way to 396 yards passing and six touchdowns against the Wolverines. On the season, Haskins has thrown for a staggering 4,081 yards and 42 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. Matching up with all that firepower could be a struggle for Northwestern.

Wildcats Look to Be Pesky

However, you can expect plenty of pushback from the Wildcats, which means this is no guaranteed cake walk for Ohio State. The No. 21 Wildcats have been sneaking by more talented teams all season, so before you make your Ohio State vs. Northwestern picks for the 2018 Big Ten championship, make sure you think twice before assuming the Buckeyes cover.

Ohio State vs Northwestern should be a close one.

The Wildcats win the field-position battle by an average of over two yards per possession. While that sounds miniscule, it adds up over time. When you combine that with a third-down defense that ranks 31st in the nation, you’ll start to see why they only give up 21.7 points per game. Hidden yardage and forcing a few stops might be enough to keep Northwestern within the spread after all.

Buckeyes Top Wildcats

Even though they seem like a tough opponent, I’ll still take the Buckeyes. They manhandled Michigan for most of their matchup, which hasn’t happened all season, with the exception for a half of football by the Fighting Irish in the season opener. There’s a reason the Buckeyes are ranked 6th in the nation despite not having the best overall resume. That reason is that they can show up to play and all-out clobber ya.

Any team out there, I’ll put my money on Ohio State’s offense to produce. Yes, even Alabama. Michigan’s defense was better than nearly any other defense around, has better pro prospects and more of them and they made them look like a Pop Warner lineup at times. Do not sleep on this team when they win the Big Ten. Next stop is certainly the playoff.