The Ohio State No.2 will face Michigan No.5 on Saturday in a top-10 showdown with the Big Ten East Division Championship on the line.
Kick-off is scheduled for 12 noon. ET at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The game will be televised on FOX.
Ohio State (10-1) rose to No.2 after a revealing 56-7 victory over Michigan State in Week 12. The Buckeyes lead the FBS with an offense average of 47.2 points per game, and the Heisman favorite CJ Stroud throws at a worldwide receiving trio that includes Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Third-year coach Ryan Day has yet to lose a Big Ten game.
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Michigan (10-1) is trying to break an eight-game losing streak against the Buckeyes in The Game, and this is coach Jim Harbaugh’s sixth attempt as a head coach. The Wolverines sit seventh in the FBS with a defense allowing 16.7 points per game. Defensive ends Adian Hutchinson and David Ojabo each have 10 sacks, but do the Wolverines have enough offense to surprise?
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The stage is set for another classic between the legendary rivals of the Big Ten, which will have an impact on the college football playoff standings heading into the final week. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know to bet on the Buckeyes vs Wolverines game.
Ohio State vs Michigan odds
- Disseminate: Ohio State -8.5
- Above / Below: 63.5
- Moneyline: Ohio State -310, Michigan +240
Three trends to know
–The Buckeyes are 2-2 ATS on the road this season, but all of those gaps were in double digits. Ohio State is 8-0 against opponents classified under Day, and they have won those games averaging 23.1 points per game. Maybe that’s why the line has increased 1.5 points from when it opened.
– Michigan is 0-5 against Ohio State under Harbaugh, but that’s not the surprising part. The Buckeyes have won those five games averaging 19 points per game. The only game to be decided by single digits was Ohio State’s 30-27 double-overtime victory in 2016.
–Michigan are also 2-13 against top 10 opponents under Harbaugh, and the last loss was the 37-33 clash to Michigan State earlier this season. Harbaugh is 2-4 at home in these top-10 clashes. The two wins were against Wisconsin (2016) and Notre Dame (2019). Three of the four losses are at Ohio State, but this is the first time Michigan has gone 10-1 in a home game against the Buckeyes under Harbaugh.
Three things to watch out for
– How do you slow down Stroud? Stroud continues to flourish around an NFL-caliber receiving body that includes Olave (848 yards, 13 TDs), Wilson (939 yards, 11 TDs) and Smith-Njigba (1,132 yards, 6 TDs), and this will stress Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. Hutchinson and Ojabo need to land in edge pressure, and Josh Ross will need to be a factor in the linebacker. Ohio State has shredded Don Brown’s defense in the last two meetings. What can Macdonald do differently to slow down the state of Ohio?
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– Michigan’s racing game. Michigan ranks 15th in the FBS with a peak offense averaging 218.4 yards per game. Hassan Haskins (1063 yards, 13 TDs) was the leader, and Blake Corum (778 yards, 10 TDs) could return after missing the last two games with a leg injury. The Wolverines are an indoor running team, but will they test the perimeter more like Oregon did on 9/11? The Buckeyes have allowed just 74.2 rushing yards per game since that loss to the Ducks. Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett (7.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks) was at the heart of the turnaround. Who wins inside?
– Who makes the difference? Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson is one home hitter the Wolverines haven’t seen, and he may be more dangerous in space than Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III, who had five touchdowns against Michigan. JK Dobbins had 211 rushing yards, 49 receiving yards and four total touchdowns last game. On the other hand, Harbaugh has to trust quarterback Cade McNamara to take on the Buckeyes’ defense. In the last five games, the Michigan QBs have managed 59.6% of their passes for an average of 253.2 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. How much will the Wolverines mix in first-year quarterback JJ McCarthy? It’s worth watching too.
Stat that matters
Ohio State leads the FBS with 7.9 yards per game. Michigan is at 6.2; which is the same as the state of Michigan. It won’t work for the Wolverines on Saturday.
Here’s a look at the disparity over the past three meetings since Day joined the Ohio State staff in 2017.
|YEAR||OSU PLAYS||LANDS||YDS / PLAY||MICH PLAYS||LANDS||YDS / PLAY|
Michigan is 10th in the FBS in yards per play allowed at 4.5. Ohio State is 16th at 4.8. Watch this statistic as the game unfolds.
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Ohio State vs Michigan prediction
It’s Michigan’s best move to end the drought since 2016, but there have been some striking differences between the teams since 2016. The Wolverines have a new defense that has worked with a first-year coordinator, and the Buckeyes have moved on. away from the power racing game off the shotgun.
It’s all about making it a four-quarter game for Michigan, and it’s going to be tough given the many ways Ohio State can attack an opponent. Look for Henderson to be an early X factor. Michigan will lag if the running game clicks, but McNamara will have to play their beaten game of the season.
Ultimately, the state of Ohio is still too much. The Buckeyes advance to the Big Ten Championship game for the fifth straight year with a chance to return to CFP for a third consecutive time with Day.
Final score: Ohio State 38, Michigan 26