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Ohio State Buckeyes Vs. Buffalo Bulls Free Pick 8/31/13

Buffalo Bulls (0-0) at Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Ohio Stadium)

The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -35.5 --- Over/Under: 55.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2 HD

The Ohio State Buckeyes have to be thinking about what could have been last season after going undefeated, but kept out of a bowl due to NCAA sanctions.

Urban Meyer is building something special in Columbus. The Buckeyes were not as good as their record suggested last season, but you have to give credit where credit is due. The Buckeyes beat the Wolverines in Columbus, and managed tough wins on the road at Michigan State, Wisconsin and Happy Valley. The Buckeyes return one of the more dynamic players in the nation in Braxton Miller, and with another year under the guidance of Urban Meyer, it will be interesting to see what Miller has become. Ohio State has a dominant offensive line, but the running game could suffer a bit out of the gate with Carlos Hyde being suspended for at least the first three games for the Buckeyes. Hyde was expected, or at least considered to be a strong candidate to be the first 1,000 yard rusher under Meyer. Defensively the Buckeyes are as strong as ever as this team just reloads year after year.

Ohio State Buckeyes Vs. Buffalo Bulls Free Pick 8/31/13

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bulls finished off 2012 strong, winning three of their last four games. The Bulls only managed four wins in 2012, but Buffalo drew a tough schedule, having to face the Georgia Bulldogs on the road, as well as the Huskies, and Bowling Green, both also on the road. The Bulls had one of the worst scoring offenses in the nation last season, managing just 21.3 points per game on average, while giving up more than 28.5 per outing. The Bulls are an experienced team, returning 17 starters form a year ago, but experience with a lack of talent doesn’t equal wins. The Bulls will likely have to try and ground out wins as there is nothing showing me that this offense will be able to consistently move the ball through the air. The defense “should” be improved this season, but facing the juggernaut that is the Buckeyes in the opening week is sure to be an eye opener for this squad.

The Bulls have been horrible on the road lately, going just 1-10 overall in their last 11 games, while going 5-6 ATS in that span. The Buckeyes, while just 7-8 ATS in their past three seasons at home, have only two home losses in that span, going 13-2 overall.

If there is one thing I have learned in my time covering the Big Ten, it’s this. Do not go against the Buckeyes in their home opener. Ohio State is known to come out of the gates fast on the season, and with a stellar coach like Meyer managing this team, you can bet that the Buckeyes will be fundamentally sound and prepared for the Bulls come opening Saturday. Look for the Buckeyes going away here in a rout of the Bulls.

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Ohio State -35.5

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