It’s finally here. The college football betting season is upon us. I have goosebumps as I type this. Not only because the college football season is the easiest for me to handicap, but because I am a fan of the game.
Usually, I don’t even watch the games I have a financial interest in nor do I read the paper the morning after to see what went right or wrong. College football, for me, is slightly different. There is something incredibly enduring about college students and fans alike getting together in droves to watch the team play. That type of celebration represents everything that is right with the world.
The season officially kicks off Thursday as the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes take on the unranked Marshall Thundering Herd. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. eastern standard time.
For those of you betting this game, there will be some things you should seriously consider before making your final decision and we have to lowdown, right here.
The public perception of the Buckeyes for this game is that Jim Tressel isn’t the type of coach to run up the score of the game. Also, Ohio State’s opener last year was much too close for comfort against a pedestrian Navy football team. There are legions of individuals who don’t think Terrell Pryor should be getting anywhere near the amount of Heisman trophy ‘love’ that he currently garners. Sounds like slight over hype for the Buckeye machine.
Marshall comes into the season with optimism as their new coach, Doc Holliday. Doc Holliday was a former assistant coach at West Virginia and was also an assistant to Urban Meyer at Florida. Marshall is considered a middle of the road Conference USA team with experienced receivers and a spread offense mentality. They have some solid players, and have some decent recruits as a result of their recruiting efforts in the offseason.
From a betting perspective, all of the discussion has hinged on Ohio State and their conservative coach. There hasn’t been much of any discussion on how average this Marshall team is. Let’s face it, this team sucks. They aren’t going to give a top 5 team much of a fight. When the majority of the discussion for the Thundering Herd revolves around the coaching upgrade, with little discussion on the team itself, you know you have something. And sharp bettors do, in this case.
Ohio State returns the majority of their play makers on offense and has arguably the best defense in the nation. In most cases, the defense is ready sooner than the offense. That said, both Ohio State’s offense and defense are head and shoulders above a Marshall squad who will finish in the lower half of their division this year.
On one hand, I agree that Jim Tressel isn’t the type to run the score up out of respect for his opponent. On the other hand, I believe he has enough confidence in his star quarterback to allow him to make plays.
Our selection, and as a free pick to kick off the college football betting season, is Ohio State in the first half. The Buckeyes get at it early, and often. We agree that Tressel may not be interested in scoring 45 points, but this one gets away early.
Take the Ohio State Buckeyes in the First Half.