It doesn’t get much better than this. With the Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 2) and Michigan Wolverines (No. 6) both near the top of the current AP Top 25 poll, their annual Week 13 meeting takes on a whole new level of importance. It’s a huge game for the College Football Playoff, the Big Ten standings (Ohio State is a game up on Michigan in the Big Ten East) and, of course, for pride itself.
The college football odds favor Ohio State pretty heavily, even on the road, which makes sense considering how the Buckeyes have rampaged through the Big Ten.
|Ohio State Buckeyes||-7½ (-110)||N/A||o64½ (-110)|
|Michigan Wolverines||+7½ (-110)||N/A||u64½ (-110)|
To say that Ohio State has owned Michigan lately would be an understatement. The Buckeyes have won the last eight meetings and 15 of the last 16. Michigan has beaten Ohio State just three times this century.
Last year’s matchup was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues so the last time these teams faced off was in 2019, when the Buckeyes came back from a first-quarter deficit to cruise to a 56-27 win. Justin Fields threw for four touchdowns and J.K. Dobbins ran for four touchdowns as Ohio State romped.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Next game: TBD
The Buckeyes rolled over a really good Michigan State team on Saturday, putting up a ridiculous 49 first-half points en route to a 56-7 win. This game was never in question whatsoever, as C.J. Stroud threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter and six in the game while the Spartans managed just 224 yards of total offense. A telling stat: Ohio State had 36 first downs compared to Michigan State’s 12.
Ohio State easily covered as 19½-point home favorites. The under (70 points) was in doubt for a while because of the Buckeyes’ early offensive explosion, but Ryan Day’s defense made sure that Michigan State was mostly kept off the board.
The Buckeyes could be without cornerback Sevyn Banks and will be missing defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie, running back Marcus Crowley, offensive lineman Harry Miller and defensive end Noah Potter due to various injuries. Overall, Ohio State has a ton of depth so those losses shouldn’t be a huge issue.
Next game: TBD
Michigan had its own laugher of a win over the weekend, crushing Maryland 59-18. Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy combined to throw for 352 yards and three scores while Hassan Haskins added a pair of touchdowns on the ground.
The Wolverines covered as 16-point road favorites with plenty of room to spare and eclipsed the over total (58 points) by themselves.
Michigan is pretty healthy overall but could be without running back Blake Corum, who is questionable with a lower-body injury. He didn’t play against Maryland but was available to go and, when asked about his availability for Saturday, said “We’ll see.”
Betting on the Game
It’s tough to go against Ohio State right now. The Buckeyes have by far the best offense in the country with a prime Heisman candidate at quarterback, a likely deserving fringe Heisman candidate at running back and three elite wide receivers. There just isn’t any real way to stop them and even Michigan’s top-10 defense will give up a ton of points to Stroud and Co.
It’s a credit to Jim Harbaugh’s team that Michigan is only a 7½-point underdog on the BetUS Sportsbook. That line certainly could grow as the week goes on, but it seems pretty fair considering how good Michigan has been and that the Wolverines are at home. However, Michigan State has been just about as good as Michigan and we saw what Ohio State did to the Spartans a week ago.
If Michigan can get Corum back, the combination of he and Haskins out of the backfield could give the Wolverines a level of balance that might give Cade McNamara enough time to move the ball against Ohio State’s great, but not particularly ballhawking, secondary. The only chance Michigan has of winning is to outscore the Buckeyes since they’ll get their points one way or another.
As far as college football picks go, the Buckeyes are reliably safe to back. Also, if you’re betting online on the point total, the over is enticing. Ohio State has scored 45 or more points in six of their eight Big Ten games and, if the Buckeyes do that again this weekend, the over will have a great chance of cashing out.