Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud leads the No. 9-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday as they attempt to regroup against the upset-minded Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Kickoff for the nationally televised showdown is set for 3:30 p.m. ET from Ohio Stadium. Stroud, the celebrated prospect, threw an interception on the final drive in last week's 35-28 home upset loss to Oregon as a two-touchdown favorite. Even so, he accounted for nearly 500 yards of total offense for the Buckeyes (1-1) and was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Week for the second time in the 2021 college football season. The Golden Hurricane (0-2) are hoping to break through following two losses by seven combined points, including last week's 28-23 defeat at Oklahoma State.
The Buckeyes are 25.5-point betting favorites and the over-under for total points scored is back to its original number of 60.5 in the latest Ohio State vs. Tulsa odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Before finalizing any picks of your own for Tulsa vs. Ohio State, make sure you see the college football predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 3 of the 2021 season on a 67-50 run on all top-rated college football picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen massive returns.
- Tulsa vs. Ohio State point spread: Ohio State -25.5
- Tulsa vs. Ohio State over-under points scored: 60.5
- Tulsa vs. Ohio State money line: Ohio State -4500, Tulsa +1500
- TUL: The Golden Hurricane are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games as an underdog
- OSU: The Buckeyes have covered five of their last six against opponents with losing records
Why Ohio State can cover
Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud received some criticism for the fourth-quarter interception, thrown into heavy traffic, that ended Ohio State's comeback hopes. But coach Ryan Day was quick to praise the player's performance and told the media he believes the signal-caller is ahead of the curve considering he's just two starts into his collegiate career.
Stroud finished 35-of-54 passing for 484 yards with three touchdowns and both sacks he absorbed came on the final drive. Moreover, despite coming up short against an Oregon club that could compete for a spot in the four-team playoff, Stroud already has shown he's capable of overcoming adversity.
In his first start, he looked shaky at times as the Buckeyes trailed 14-10 at halftime against an experienced Minnesota club that enjoyed the support of a boisterous home crowd in a Thursday night prime-time slot. But Stroud rebounded to throw four second-half touchdowns as the Buckeyes pulled away. He finished 13-of-22 for 294 yards, one interception and zero sacks.
Why Tulsa can cover
The Golden Hurricane have used a similar formula to compete with heavily favored opponents and, in numerous cases last season, pull the outright upset. They have used a solid and conservative defensive plan to limit the opponent's offense and use a run-based offense of their own to limit the game's possessions.
Both factors were in play last week as Tulsa nearly upset Oklahoma State as a 13-point underdog. The Golden Hurricane held the Cowboys to 140 rushing yards on 43 carries (3.3 ypc), and quarterback Spencer Sanders got a good chunk of those with a 37-yard run as part of his team-high 62 rushing yards.
Tulsa also limited Sanders to just 173 passing yards while sacking him twice and forcing an interception. The Golden Hurricane won the time-of-possession battle by nearly five minutes. Tulsa's defense also consistently won the battle at the line of scrimmage and finished with nine tackles for loss. Oregon managed two sacks and three tackles for loss against the Buckeyes last week.
How to make Tulsa vs. Ohio State picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 53 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Ohio State vs. Tulsa? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.