2018 Big Ten College Football Championship – Northwestern Wildcats Vs. #6 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Conference Championship Games in college football are always a big deal, very often because they are the last chance for some teams to get into the playoffs. As we head into this weekend, 3 of the 5 teams taking part in the Power 5 conference title games know that they need a win to get into the final 4. Notre Dame are done for the regular season and safe, while Alabama and Clemson look to be a good bet even if they lose.
That leaves Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State with a shot at getting in. You could say that Georgia have the toughest road, as they need to beat Alabama, but Ohio State are in a position where they need to win and get a lot of help. The latest rankings saw them in at #6, behind both Georgia and Oklahoma. They need a win and both those teams to lose, but all they can do for now is take care of business against the Northwestern Wildcats. Ohio State are in as a 14-point favorite, with the point total set at 61.
2018 Big Ten College Football Championship - Northwestern Wildcats Vs. #6 Ohio State Buckeyes
What: 2018 Big Ten College Football Championship – Northwestern Wildcats Vs. #6 Ohio State Buckeyes
When: Saturday, December 1, 2018, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Why bet on the Northwestern Wildcats?
The Big Ten introduced the Conference Championship Game back in 2011 and this will be the first time that Northwestern will be making an appearance. To say that they are a surprise inclusion is putting it rather mildly, but they are there courtesy of a strong finish to the season that saw them win 7 of their last 8 games, with the lone loss coming against Notre Dame.
During that run, they started as the underdog no less than 5 different times, but they ended up going a stellar 4-0-1 ATS in those games. What that tells you is that this is not a team that should simply be overlooked. The problem here is that they are just 1-9 SU in their last 10 meetings with the Buckeyes, going 3-6-1 ATS in those games.
Why bet on the Ohio State Buckeyes?
This has been the strangest run to a championship game that the Buckeyes have probably ever been on. They were awful in a 49-20 loss to Purdue, after which they were more than a little lucky to scrape past Nebraska and Maryland. Yes, they were outstanding in their annihilation of Michigan last week, but it is that wobbly run and the nature of the loss to the Boilermakers that has them down in the #6 spot and in with a slim shot at the playoffs.
This is a team that has covered just 3 times in their last 10 games, and how they do here may well depend on earlier results. If Oklahoma wins on Friday night or Georgia beats Alabama, there is probably no way into the playoffs for the Buckeyes, which could have an impact on how they play.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Given how strange a season this has been both on the field and off for Ohio State, a New Year’s 6 Bowl appearance might feel like a win. I think the Buckeyes win this one going away.
Predicted Score: Northwestern Wildcats 23 | Ohio State Buckeyes 40
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