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Ohio State opens as 31.5-point favorites over Toledo

The Buckeyes are big favorites for the second week in a row.

NCAA Football: Arkansas State at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

DraftKings Sportsbook odds: Betting Line: Ohio State -31.5 | Over/Under: 61

Ohio State is once again favored by over 30 points as they head into their Week 3 matchup against in-state Toledo. The Buckeyes are coming off a 45-12 win over Arkansas State in a sleepy afternoon game that clearly lacked the same fire from the home team — understandably so — from the Week 1 tilt against Notre Dame. Toledo is coming off a 55-10 win over UMass as the Rockets have also begun their 2022 campaign 2-0.

Ryan Day’s squad looked good against an overmatched Red Wolves squad led by Butch Jones and Florida State transfer QB James Blackman. C.J. Stroud put up big numbers as expected, finishing completing 16 of his 24 pass attempts for 351 yards and four touchdowns. It was a coming out party for Marvin Harrison Jr., catching seven passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns. The run game didn’t have to do a whole bunch, but TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams combined to average over seven yards per carry, led by Henderson’s 10 carries for 87 yards and two scores.

On defense, the Buckeyes’ front seven once against put on show, holding the Red Wolves to just 1.6 yards per carry and just 53 total rushing yards on 34 attempts on the ground. Mike Hall Jr. continued his standout start to the season, registering a sack and a three tackles for loss. Steele Chambers had the team’s other sack, looking like he was shot out of cannon on a blitz up the middle. The secondary was shaky at times, but at the end of the day Ohio State was able to bend and not break as they held Arkansas State out of the end zone all game.

As previously mentioned, Toledo has started off the season 2-0, beating up on perennial powerhouses Long Island University and UMass. In this past weekend’s 55-10 win over the Minutemen, the Rockets were led by their ground game. Toledo toted the rock 37 times for 234 yards, topped by quarterback Dequan Finn’s seven carries for 74 yards and two TDs. Finn was not at his best through the air, but completed 12-of-26 for 177 yards and another touchdown. Jerjuan Newton led the way through the air, hauling in four balls for 106 yards.

Defensively this year, Toledo has been led by a familiar face in Ohio State transfer Dallas Gant, who has registered a team-high 20 tackles through his first two games with his new squad. Defensive end Desjuan Johnson has looked good to begin the campaign, as the senior leads the Rockets with 4.5 tackles for loss. The Toledo defense has forced three fumbles thus far this season, including one by the aforementioned Gant. Overall, Jason Candle’s team is ranked 5th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just five points per game, but the level of competition hasn’t exactly been stellar.

Toledo’s strength this season has been running the football — something the Ohio State defense has excelled in stopping. They will need Finn to make some plays through the air if they want to keep things competitive against the Buckeyes. On the flip side, C.J. Stroud and Company will be a far cry from the offenses Toledo has faced thus far this season, but this defense is certainly a significant step up from Arkansas State’s this past week. It also remains to be seen if Jaxon Smith-Njigba and/or Julian Fleming will suit up for Ohio State. The Buckeyes likely won’t need them to come away with a win, but 31.5 points is a lot to cover against a solid MAC program.

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