USC / Ohio State Over 64.5 3.3% PLAY / USC +8 2.2% PLAY
Both teams rank in the top 15 in explosive plays and both offensive strengths are their opponents defensive weaknesses. USC gave up 49 and 35 points the two times they faced a good running team who also had a good running QB. Ohio State has averaged 53 points per game when they don't face a top 50 run defense. Ohio State has faced 4 passing teams ranked in the top 50 in QB rating and gave up on average 36.6 points per game, but it could have been more especially against Oklahoma. Ohio State shut out in their bowl game last year, but scored 44, 42, 42, and 35 in their previous 4 post season games, and USC scored 52 and gave up 49 in last year's Rose Bowl against Big Ten Penn State.
On the spread side this is just too much value to pass up with the Trojans against Ohio State. This line is inflated based on what Ohio State did last year in their bowl game, and based on Urban Meyer's success of going 10-3 SU& ATS in bowl games. I understand the line and many people will point to USC's thrashing against Notre Dame who run a similar one dimensional run first offense, but USC was crippled along the defensive line with injuries. They had 20 guys who missed the game with injuries. They got healthier down the stretch and even managed to hold Stanford's rushing to 151 yards in the PAC 12 Championship. It's easier to scheme and game plan against the run and make a QB beat you. For USC's offense they have that QB that will play at the next level and he can carry this team to win the game or even a back door cover.
Ohio State has faced 4 top 50 passing teams and they are 2-2 losing by 31 and 15 points. Allowing an average of 36 points per game. Their two wins came against Wisconsin by 6 and Penn State by 1. If Sam Darnold doesn't turn the ball over they should stay in this game. Darnold 17-4 TD/INT ratio down the stretch. Bake Mayfield shredded this secondary and they won at Ohio State by 15, but it could have been a lot worse.
The other thing to point out is how bad Ohio State's special teams has been especially in the kickoff return defense and USC has dynamic players back there and rank #8 in KO return efficiency.
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