One of college football’s elite teams is the Ohio State Buckeyes and one of the worst Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) squads is the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Oddsmakers know that.
The moneyline odds on Saturday’s game between the two Big 10 squads proves that. The sportsbook at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas installed the Buckeyes at -600,000 on Wednesday. Moneyline bettors simply need the team they choose to win. In these wagers, covering spreads isn’t relevant.
Even if there’s isn’t any such thing as a “sure thing” in gambling, moneyline odds of -600,000 suggest a high level of certainty and small reward for bettors. At -600,000 a $100 bettor moving into South Point to support the Buckeyes would win two cents, an unfavorable risk/reward proposition. Still, it’s easy to see why Ohio State is strongly favored against Rutgers.
In an interview with Forbes, SportsBetting.ag head oddsmaker Adam Burns said, “The way the Buckeyes are absolutely dominating on both sides of the ball, coupled with the dreadful Rutgers offense, this was always going to be a spread of epic proportions.”
The 9-0 Buckeyes enter Saturday’s game ranked No. 2 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) poll following LSU. Rutgers is just 2-7 with both wins coming over non-Power 5 opponents. The New Jersey university has been shut-out in three of its seven losses. The team scored just one touchdown in two others.
At the time of this writing, the sportsbook at Caesars Palace on the Strip has Ohio State at -52 on the spread, whereas the number is -53 at the Westgate SuperBook. In any case, that’s a huge figure to cover for a road favorite.
American Sports Analysts (ASA), a Wisconsin-based sports handicapping service with expertise in the Big 10, in a tweet posted today, noted that over the course of Ohio State’s glorious football history, never had the school been away chalk of 50 points or more.
The firm adds since 1987, when the Oklahoma Sooners were -55 at the Kansas Jayhawks there hasn’t been a road favorite of more than 50 points in college football. The Sooners covered that spread, crushing Kansas 71-10 on Halloween.
Historical data show prior road favorites of scales comparable to Ohio State this week usually don’t cover, going 20-38-1 against the spread, according to The Action Network.
The Casino.org website says, this year, Ohio State’s average margin of victory is 42.4 points and its biggest road win was a 52-3 beating of Northwestern on Oct. 18.
Rutgers Offer A Bait?
Rutgers offers significantly more value than Ohio State in Saturday’s contest at +200,000 on the moneyline. Obviously, those are long odds; however, for the price of a visit to Starbucks, gamblers could enjoy fine paydays if the Scarlet Knights pull off a historic upset.
Some are already taking the bait. One bettor posted on Twitter a picture of his $5 slip from South Point, taking Rutgers on the moneyline. A $10,000 payday awaits if the upset materializes.
If the Scarlet Knights win, it would surely be the largest point spread upset in college football history, surpassing the 2017 Howard/UNLV game lost by the Las Vegas team as 45-point chalk.
Fascinatingly, Rutgers was on the winning side of one the largest college football spread upsets, thrashing Syracuse in 1999 as 30.5-point underdogs.