Michigan vs. Ohio State Football Betting Preview
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
When: Saturday, November 26, 12:00 PM ET
Line: Michigan Wolverines (+6.5) at Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5); total: 45.5 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines
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- Arizona State vs. Stanford NCAA Football Preview - September 30, 2017
Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (+6.5)
With the 20-10 win over the Indiana Hoosiers last Saturday, the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines are still very much alive in a bid for a College Football Playoff spot.
The Wolverines faced and conquered adversity in the face that game, as starting quarterback Wilton Speight (upper body injury) was ruled out of the contest and the team had to ride with backup John O’Korn instead. O’Korn served rather poorly that day, as he competed just seven of his 16 passes for 59 passing yards and a lackluster quarterback rating of 28.6.
Michigan, which is averaging over 42 points per game this season, has sputtered on offense these past two weeks by putting up a total of just 33 points against the Hoosiers and the Iowa Hawkeyes (who dealt their first and only loss of the season). But even if the team isn’t at full-force of late, the running game appears to be ready to bail them out in Saturday’s finale against the Buckeyes.
Running back De’Veon Smith ran for a career-best 158 rushing yards against Indiana to go with a pair of scores, and his involvement on the offense should be maximized against Ohio State’s third-best scoring defense (13 points allowed per contest).
Nevertheless, Jim Harbaugh’s squad boasts an even stouter D that’s tops in the nation at just 10.9 points allowed to the opposition for the season. Junior linebacker Jabrill Peppers is the best front-seven defender in collegiate football as we speak, and the Maxwell Award nominee’s contribution this Saturday could make or break Michigan’s season.
And even if you count the loss to Iowa from Week 11, the Wolverines have still won seven of their last eight games on the road (4-4 ATS). Having said that, an upset at The Shoe this coming weekend is not as far-fetched as it seems on paper.
Betting on the Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5)
For the past decade, the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes have gotten the better of Michigan. They’ve won four-straight meetings against the Wolverines and nine of the last 10 to date (7-3 ATS), and their dominance over their final regular-season opponent has rightfully placed them as +250 favorites to win the national title for the second time in five years under head coach Urban Meyer.
However, the Buckeyes are entering Saturday’s showdown off a less-than encouraging 17-16 victory over the Michigan State Spartans by way of a blocked two-point attempt that they returned for a touchdown late in the contest.
Similar to Michigan, Ohio State had a problem at quarterback last weekend, as J.T. Barrett finished the game with just 86 passing yards and a lone TD on 10-of-22 passing. Then again, the dual-threat QB also turned on his jets and burnt the Spartans for 105 rushing yards on a team-high 24 carries.
And again like the Wolverines, the Buckeyes have a top-10 ground attack (eighth in FBS at 263 rushing yards per game) to bail them out of trouble if the passing game falters again. Freshman Mike Weber had 14 carries for 111 rushing yards and a score last Saturday, and he along with Barrett make for an imposing backfield duo that could puzzle Michigan’s front seven.
However, and even if the Buckeyes win this contest on Saturday, they’ll still need some ironic help from disappointing Michigan State in order to move past Penn State in the conference standings and win the Big Ten crown. Given how the Spartans appear to not be in shape to overthrow the Nittany Lions, the uncertainty of Ohio State’s CFP hopes could play a huge emotional factor for the team on Saturday, which could also be its own undoing in the actual match against the Wolverines.
The Wolverines (+6.5) beat the Buckeyes for the first time since 2011, 28-23.
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