Ohio State and USC play in the highly anticipated 2017 Cotton Bowl at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 29. Ohio State is a 7.5-point favorite, according to MyBookie. Find full odds and picks below.
Ohio State is 11-2 overall as the Big Ten champion. USC is 11-2 and the Pac-12 champion.
Cotton Bowl 2017: Betting odds for Ohio State-USC
Ohio State is a 7.5-point favorite against USC. The game is played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The over/under is at 65 points.
Cotton Bowl 2017: Picks for Ohio State-USC
Find a full preview and breakdown of keys to the game here.
Point spread: Ohio State -7.5
Over/under: 65 points
The Buckeyes are 6-7 against the spread this season, and they have their work cut out for them to cover the spread this week against a strong Trojans team. Nine of the Buckeyes’ 13 games have gone over the point total, which is set at 65 points on Saturday. The Land of 10 Ohio State beat writers are split as to whether the Buckeyes will cover the point spread as well as whether the point total will exceed 65 points.
Ryan Ginn: Ohio State 35, USC 31
Austin Ward: Ohio State 38, USC 24
Cotton Bowl 2017: Preview for Ohio State-USC
Ohio State is 11-2 this season, winning the Big Ten with a 27-21 victory over previously undefeated Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes average 42.5 points per game and allow 19.9 points per game. Freshman J.K. Dobbins leads the rushing game with 1,364 yards and 7 touchdowns on 181 attempts.
QB J.T. Barrett is Ohio State’s senior leader. Barrett is 229-for-354 passing for 2,939 yards, 35 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. On the ground, Barrett has 732 rushing yards and is tied for first on the team with 10 scores. Mike Weber also has 10 rushing yards while running for 608 yards.
Four Ohio State players have at least 400 receiving yards. K.J. Hill leads in receptions with 55 catches for 546 yards and 3 touchdowns. Parris Campbell is first with 587 receiving yards, scoring 3 times.
Defensively, Jerome Baker is No. 1 on the Buckeyes with 67 total tackles.
USC is 11-2 and won the Pac-12 title after beating Stanford, 31-28. The Trojans average 34.5 points per game and surrender 26.3 points per game.
QB Sam Darnold is 277-for-435 passing for 3,787 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Deontay Burnett is Darnold’s top target, as Burnett has 74 receptions for 975 yards and 9 touchdowns. Tyler Vaughns is second with 51 catches, 690 yards and 5 scores.
Ronald Jones II leads USC on the ground. Jones has 1,486 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
On defense, Cameron Smith has a team-high 102 total tackles. He also has 10 tackles for loss.
Ohio State is ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll, Coaches Poll and the College Football Playoff. USC is No. 7 in the Coaches and No. 8 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll Top 25.
USC and Ohio State have strong history with each other. The Trojans lead 13-9-1 all-time. In the most recent game, USC beat the Buckeyes 18-15 on Sept. 12, 2009.
Cotton Bowl: History
Last 10 games
- Jan. 2, 2017: Wisconsin 24, Western Michigan 16
- Dec. 31, 2015: Alabama 38, Michigan State 0
- Jan. 1, 2015: Michigan State 42, Baylor 41
- Jan. 3, 2014: Missouri 41, Oklahoma State 31
- Jan. 4, 2013: Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 13
- Jan. 6, 2012: Arkansas 29, Kansas State 16
- Jan. 7, 2011: LSU 41, Texas A&M 24
- Jan. 2, 2010: Ole Miss 21, Oklahoma State 7
- Jan. 2, 2009: Ole Miss 47, Texas Tech 34
- Jan. 1, 2008: Missouri 38, Arkansas 7