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GAMBLING: Notable Stat Determining if Ohio State Football Covers the Spread

Multiple factors influence betting outcomes, but this notable stat is starting to become a trend regarding Ohio State's ability to cover.

Bettors might look at a wide-range of data when dissecting games or choosing what teams/totals hold the best value that particular day. Once you find certain trends and proven numbers, comparing them to the betting line could offer insight into where the value lies.

You can always make a case for multiple stats, but there’s (at least) on that’s becoming a trend for whether Ohio State covers the spread or not… penalties.

Over their last eight games, the Buckeyes have failed to cover the spread in all five where they committed six-plus penalties. In the others where they were mostly clean… 3-0. See here:

OpponentPenalties-YardsCover the Spread?










Arkansas State



Notre Dame









Michigan State



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Yes, I know this seems like an obvious thing. If you commit less penalties, you probably perform better on the field. But there are MANY circumstances that go into perceived “success” and (notably) covering the Vegas spread.

For context and perspective… Stanford ranks third nationally in fewest penalties per game so far this season, but they are 0-4 against the spread. Meanwhile, Syracuse and South Alabama are both 4-1 ATS despite being two of the most penalized teams in college football, ranking 125th and 130th respectively.

It never hurts researching/charting various officials or referee crews, to potentially learn who might be “flag happy.” Lining this data up with whatever crew works Ohio State games might provide even better intel on whether or not to back the Buckeyes.

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