Missouri to outduel Ohio State in high-octane Cotton Bowl Classic

  • No. 9 Missouri is a 2.5-point favorite over the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes
  • Marvin Harrison Jr. won the 2023 Biletnikoff Award after compiling 1,211 receiving yards and 14 TDs
  • The Cotton Bowl kicks off from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Dec. 29 at 8 pm ET

Ohio State opened as 6.5-point favorites, but the line quickly moved towards Missouri after Buckeyes starting quarterback Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal. Will Ryan Day lose other key players off his roster before facing a Tigers team playing in their first New Year’s Six bowl game in a decade?

Before we check the line for the Cotton Bowl, take a look at our 2023-24 College Football Betting sites and get the Best College Football Bowl Odds.

Ohio State vs Missouri

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Missouri-2.5 (-110)-140Ov 49.0 (-110)
Ohio State+2.5 (-110)+120Un 49.0 (-110)

The Cotton Bowl

After winning 15 of 16 against Michigan, Ohio State (11-1) has now dropped three in a row to their Big Ten rivals. A 30-24 loss to the Wolverines in late November knocked them out of the College Football Playoff and into their third-ever Cotton Bowl. Ryan Day has a 2-3 career record in bowl games, but his team will come to play. Shortly after missing out on a CFP bid two years ago, the Buckeyes won a 48-45 barnburner over Utah in the Rose Bowl.

Missouri is coming off its first 10-win season since 2014. The Tigers enjoyed a 3-2 record vs. Top 25 teams, with their two losses coming against then-No. 1 Georgia (30-21) and then-No. 23 LSU.

Will more Buckeyes drop out?

Buckeyes backup QB Devin Brown will draw the start in the Cotton Bowl after the departure of Kyle McCord. The question is if the four-star recruit will have his full complement of weapons. Marvin Harrison Jr. was just named the nation’s most outstanding receiver after putting up 1,211 yards with 14 touchdowns.

There’s a chance that both the 2023 Biletnikoff winner and Emeka Egbuka opt out of the Cotton Bowl in order to prepare for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Missourito win vs Ohio State
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-140
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OVER 49.0Ohio State vs Missouri
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-110
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Tigers vs Buckeyes

Ohio State is a 2.5-point underdog in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with the over/under set at 49 points. There should be plenty of points put up in the Cotton Bowl. The Buckeyes averaged 32.8 points per game vs. 34.1 for the Tigers, who have the nation’s No. 1 red-zone offense.

Along with 3,000-yard passer Brady Cook, Missouri has a star wideout of their own. Luther Burden III almost averaged 100 yards per game, finishing with 83 receptions for 1,197 yards and eight TDs. Running back Cody Schrader also led the SEC in rushing yards per contest, averaging 196 yards from scrimmage.

Past meetings

The Buckeyes are 10-1-1 all-time against Missouri, but they haven’t faced off since 1998. This will also be the first Bowl game between the two schools.

OSU is just 2-12 against SEC teams in bowl games after last year’s 42-41 defeat to Georgia in the CFP semifinals. However, they’re 2-0 in the Cotton Bowl with triumphs over USC in 2017 and Texas A & M in 1986.

Best Bet

With Devin Brown starting under center and uncertainty around the playing status of Marvin Harrison Jr., oddsmakers have put a conservative over/under on the Cotton Bowl. But we’ll gladly put our trust in Ryan Day’s offensive acumen and take the OVER 49.

However, without knowing who’s in or out for the Buckeyes, we’ll take Missouri to cover the points (-2.5) in a Cotton Bowl win.

Missourito cover vs Missouri
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-2.5
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.