We are now officially less than a week away from Ohio State kicking off its 2023 campaign, when the Buckeyes open up their season in Bloomington, Indiana on Sept. 2 against the Hoosiers. Despite some remaining questions surrounding Ryan Day’s group, including the obvious ongoing starting quarterback battle, the Vegas oddsmakers feel pretty good about Ohio State’s chances in Week 1 — or, at the very least, they are not very high on Indiana — as the Buckeyes currently stand as more than four-touchdown favorites in the upcoming contest.
All lines courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Spread: Ohio State -30 | ML: Ohio State -8000 | O/U: 60
While we still dont know who will be getting the nod at QB — and there's a good chance at this point that both guys get some playing time — whoever it is between Kyle McCord or Devin Brown will have the opportunity to throw passes to college football’s No. 1 pass-catcher, Marvin Harrison Jr., in addition to Emeka Egbuka and a treasure trove of other former four and five-star prospects. A now-healthy running back room features TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams and a handful of other contributors who can be called upon when needed. The offensive line has some questions, but it’s hard to not have trust in this Ohio State offense to put up points.
Defensively, the Buckeyes should be improved across the board, with key additions in the secondary among the likes of Ja’Had Carter and Davison Igbinosun as well as returning starters Denzel Burke and Lathan Ransom and new starting safety Sonny Styles. Both starting linebackers return in Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers, while J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer look to anchor the defensive line, with Sawyer now back playing his natural position as a true edge rusher. Mike Hall Jr. and Tyleik Williams are your anchors up the middle, and there is reason for a ton of excitement about this defensive unit as a whole.
For the second time in three seasons, Ohio State will open up play against a Big Ten opponent, with Indiana on the docket this year after starting the 2021 campaign against Minnesota — both on the road. The Hoosiers enter the new campaign having won just two conference games in the last two seasons combined, finishing just 4-8 overall in 2022.
Indiana won’t publicly announce who won the starting job at quarterback this season, so the Buckeyes will have to prepare for both Tennessee transfer Tayven Jackson and redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby. Whoever is throwing the rock, they will be happy to have wide receiver Cam Camper back following a torn ACL last October. Despite playing in just seven games last season, Camper still led the Hoosiers with 569 receiving yards and two TDs. The Hoosiers are hoping that hiring former Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad will help improve a group that finished second-to-last in the B1G in rushing, as well as eighth in passing.
Defensively, leading tackler Aaron Casey is back as the most productive player from a unit that ranked dead last in the Big Ten a year ago in both scoring defense and yards allowed. However, they did lose perhaps the group’s most talented player in linebacker Dasan McCullough, who transferred to Oklahoma. Indiana brought in second-team All-MAC defensive lineman Andre Carter to bolster a group that has had a tough time getting to the QB lately, recording just 37 total sacks over the last two seasons. In the secondary, Noah Pierre returns at the hybrid ‘Husky’ position having forced a team-high three fumbles last year.
Head coach Tom Allen received a ton of praise for the work he did making it to back-to-back bowl games from 2019-20, but that success is looking more and more like a mirage after Indiana has gone 6-18 over the past two seasons. The Hoosiers have some talent this year at the offensive skill positions, but the offensive line is still a big question mark. Defensively, Indiana is a long ways from the turnover-inducing, high-pressure units that brought them success during the height of Allen’s tenure.
You can never overlook a conference opponent, but Ohio State shouldn’t have too much trouble getting its season off to a 1-0 start.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.