NCAA Football Free Picks: Miami Hurricanes vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Miami Hurricanes
(1-0, 1-0 ATS)

Ohio State Buckeyes
(1-0, 1-0 ATS)

History, Heisman Trophy potentials, and a shot at the BCS National Championship will be on the line on Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe for one of the most highly anticipated college football betting affairs of the year. The Miami Hurricanes will start their hardest stretch of their season with perhaps the hardest game on the slate, as they travel to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

This is probably going to be the best chance that HC Randy Shannon has ever had at ensuring his job is safe at Miami for a good, long time. The Canes know that their leader is in a boatload of trouble if they don’t win the ACC or at least get to a major bowl game this year, and a loss here would only probably put up one step closer towards being out the door. The season started off well for “The U” last week, but a 45-0 victory over the Florida A&M Rattlers must be tempered due to the nature of the competition. Alas, it was a complete team effort, as the passing and rushing games were working on offense, and the defense not only scored on its own, but allowed just 110 yards in a shutout as well. If you’re looking for a man to back on the Heisman Trophy odds, how about QB Jacory Harris? Harris started off his season with a bang, throwing for 210 yards on just 12-of-15 passing with three TDs in a relatively spotless game. Harris and leading WR Leonard Hankerson are going to be key again this week after the two hooked up for 115 yards and two TDs last week against FAMU.

Don’t kid yourself with the Buckeyes, though. If last week was any real indication, this could really be the best team in the country. Ohio State’s only blunder last Thursday night came on special teams, as a blocked field goal was returned for the only score for the Marshall Thundering Herd of the game. The Buckeyes used 529 yards of offense and a stifling defense to knock off Marshall 45-7. QB Terrelle Pryor got his Heisman campaign off the ground in sparkling fashion, throwing for 247 yards and three TDs. WR Dane Sanzenbacher caught just three passes, but one went for a 65 yard TD in the first half. RB Brandon Saine, also on the Heisman watch list, carried the ball just nine times but had 103 yards and two trips to the end zone. Brian Rolle had a pick six late in the second quarter to blow the game wide open. Ohio State has now won seven straight games and is 6-1 ATS in those seven.

There’s no question in our minds that the Buckeyes are winning the game. The question is whether or not they are going to successfully cover the 8.5 point spread or not. Miami has a tendency to put a real hurting on mobile quarterbacks, as was the case last year in a romp of eventual ACC champions, Georgia Tech. That being said, we tend to think that the Canes are just barely going to stick inside this number, though there isn’t a result that would really surprise us in what should be a very close game that OSU pulls out at the wire.

Selection: Miami Hurricanes +8.5

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