How Ohio State Has Fared Against the Spread in Recent Bowl Games

How Ohio State Has Fared Against the Spread in Recent Bowl Games
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s been a whirlwind year for Ohio State, which thrashed most of its competition only to fall short against Michigan and wind up in the consolation Cotton Bowl against Missouri.

While a repeat trip to the College Football Playoff would have likely been sweet news to coach Ryan Day and Buckeyes fans’ ears, instead the Columbus program finds itself headed to “Jerry World” for the school’s first appearance in the Cotton Bowl since 2017 when the Buckeyes shellacked USC, 24-7.

This year, oddsmakers from ESPN BET Ohio have the Buckeyes listed as a one-point underdog against the Tigers, with a moneyline of -105.

Ahead of that Dec. 29 showdown in Arlington, Texas, took a look at the Buckeyes’ bowl trips since 2013 to see how OSU has performed against the spread.

Ohio State ATS in Bowl Games

Year Game Result Spread
2023Cotton BowlTBA Ohio State +1
2022Peach BowlGeorgia 42, Ohio State 41 Ohio State +4.5
2021Rose BowlOhio State 48, Utah 45 Ohio State -4
2020Sugar BowlOhio State 49, Clemson 28 Ohio State +7
2020CFP ChampionshipAlabama 52, Ohio State 24 Ohio State +9.5
2019Fiesta BowlClemson 29, Ohio State 23 Ohio State +2.5
2018Rose BowlOhio State 28, Washington 23 Ohio State -4.5
2017Cotton BowlOhio State 24, USC 7 Ohio State -10
2016Fiesta Bowl Clemson 31, Ohio State 0 Ohio State -1
2015Fiesta Bowl Ohio State 44, Notre Dame 28 Ohio State -4.5
2014Sugar BowlOhio State 42, Alabama 35 Ohio State +7.5
2014CFP ChampionshipOhio State 42, Oregon 20 Ohio State +6
2013Orange BowlClemson 40, Ohio State 35 Ohio State -2.5

Ohio betting apps list Michigan (+185) as a slight national championship favorite over Alabama (+200). Michigan is a 2-point favorite over the Crimson Tide in the Rose Bowl, one of two CFP semifinals.

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Ohio State Used to Winning in Postseason

Since 2013, the Buckeyes have gone 7-5 outright and ATS in bowl games, with two extra games thrown in thanks to two trips to the CFP championship game, where they went 1-1 (beating Oregon in 2014 and losing to Alabama in 2020).

The Buckeyes did their best as an underdog in the 2014 CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, where they beat Alabama (42-35) at +7.5, en route to the program’s first title since 2002. Conversely, Ohio State’s largest flop over the last decade ATS came in 2016, when they were shut out by Clemson, 31-0, in the Fiesta Bowl as a one-point pregame favorite.

For reference, last year the Buckeyes covered the spread in their CFP semifinal loss to eventual champion Georgia, losing 42-41 after entering as a 4.5-point underdog. This year, Ohio State will look to pull off another upset when they face off against Missouri as a slight Ohio sports betting underdog in this year’s Cotton Bowl.

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Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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