The Big Ten opener is finally here for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will face off with Wisconsin tonight in a cross-divisional showdown slated for primetime kickoff at 7:30 ET on ABC.
Even with the team's third showing scheduled for an evening time in the last four weeks, energy already surges throughout the team going back to the morning hours of game day.
ITS GAME DAY pic.twitter.com/EVgAaZPxNw— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) September 24, 2022
For those not already aware, the theme for tonight is all-black. The last time the Buckeyes wore black uniforms, the team defeated Michigan State 34-10 in 2019.
its that day of the week again pic.twitter.com/CH38olW6Lr— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) September 24, 2022
Below are an assortment of predictions for tonight's meeting with the Badgers, courtesy of the 11W staff's Buckeye football virtuosos:
Eleven Warriors Staff Score Predictions
Griffin Strom: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 20. "The Buckeyes kick down the Big Ten door with a two-touchdown win over an always tough Wisconsin team that has a defense capable of slowing down the Ohio State offense just a bit, but not enough to snap its longstanding skid against the scarlet and gray."
Kyle Jones: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 13. "Badgers keep it close for most of the first half but get blown out after halftime adjustments hold their offense in check."
Chase Brown: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 17. "Ohio State has all the tools to win every game on its schedule. If the Buckeyes execute and take care of the football, this game will end just like the first three with the home team on top by a few scores."
George Eisner: Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 17. "When this offense has a full suite of weapons at its disposal, Stroud and company set the scoring standard for the rest of college football. The Badgers put up three doughnut quarters against their only Power 5 opponent so far this season, which means the Buckeyes should comfortably retain a lead upon extending it to multiple scores."
Garrick Hodge: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 20. "A few weeks ago I thought this game may be close, but now Wisconsin will come into Columbus likely down multiple starters in the secondary, a recipe for disaster against Ohio State. Graham Mertz needs the game of his life (not likely) if the Badgers are going to have a shot."
Chris Lauderback: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 17. "Yeah Wisconsin is and always will be a running team but the fact is the QB mismatch of C.J. Stroud versus Graham Mertz is too great for the Badgers to keep it remotely close."
"Ohio State has all the tools to win every game on its schedule." – CHASE BROWN
Josh Poloha: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 13. "Wisconsin will keep it close early on with their very good rushing attack but as the game goes on, the Buckeyes will slowly begin to dominate, especially once the Badgers are forced to throw the ball. Ohio State's dominance over Wisconsin continues Saturday night."
Johnny Ginter: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 21. "Wisconsin's running game will keep things interesting for a half, only to be completely undone by Wisconsin's defensive secondary."
Jason Priestas: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 20.
Andy Vance: Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 17.
Check out this week's Eleven Warriors Roundtable for scoring predictions from Dan Hope, Ramzy Nasrallah, and Matt Gutridge.
Will Ohio State Cover?
Oddsmakers currently have the spread for this game sitting at 19 points, much slimmer than margins of victory the Buckeyes have had projected for them over the last two weeks.
All but two of the Eleven Warriors staff have the Buckeyes covering today. Garrick Hodge believes Ohio State will win by 18, while Griffin Strom forecasts the narrowest win for the Buckeyes by just two touchdowns. Ramzy Nasrallah, Andy Vance, and George Eisner all believe the Scarlet & Gray will triumph today by a comfortable separation of 28 points.
What About the Over?
The Buckeyes and Badgers have their point total set at 56.5, the smallest over/under projected for Ohio State through their first four games of the 2022 season.
There is much more of a split in opinions when it comes to the point total than covering the spread — seven on staff favor the over, while six predict the under. Johnny Ginter expects the highest point total at 63, and Dan Hope in contrast anticipates only 44 points between teams on the evening.
Eleven Warriors House Prop Bets
As fans try to run out the clock prior to kickoff, here are a few Eleven Warriors in-house prop lines for some additional points of consideration heading into primetime. Comment your predictions below and compete for bragging rights.
How many passing yards will C.J. Stroud finish with?
- 300 or more (-130)
- Less than 300 (-104)
How many interceptions will C.J. Stroud finish with?
- One or more (+131)
- None (-200)
How many rushing touchdowns will Miyan Williams finish with?
- One or more (+110)
- None (-140)
How many points will Ohio State score in the first half?
- More than 20 (-110)
- 20 or less (-110)
Want to let Wisconsin fans know who's in charge of the Big Ten? Assert Ohio State's authority over Bucky with a King of the North t-shirt from Eleven Warriors Dry Goods.
Also, for those on campus today or in town near Columbus, make sure to stop by the 10th edition of Eleven Warriors Dubgate while there's still time before kickoff!