It’s Rivalry Week in college football, and nothing is better than No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio St. It’s an undefeated battle with huge national implications at the Horseshoe Saturday afternoon.
This season’s edition of The Game features the Wolverines (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) and the Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0) in a quest to win the conference title and a berth in the College Football Playoff. As an added bonus, both teams have Heisman Trophy contenders. Michigan’s running back Blake Corum (+1200) and Ohio St.’s quarterback, the odds-on favorite in C.J. Stroud (-135). The Wolverines are 2-1-1 against the spread (ATS) over the last four, while the Buckeyes are just 1-3.
Wolverines Losing Bite
Michigan comes off a nail-biting, 17-16 win over Illinois. Once Michigan’s run was neutralized, it was tough sledding to get the offense to move the ball. Ultimately, quarterback J.J. McCarthy shone when it mattered, but still has room to improve.
Entering Saturday, there are a couple of backfield injuries to note. Corum injured his knee against the Illini, then missed the second half. He is questionable, and even if Corum plays, he won’t be healthy. This is a massive blow, as Corum is the heartbeat of the offense. He is third nationally (1,457 rushing yards), regularly with 25-to-30 touches per game. Also, understudy Donovan Edwards was out last week and is questionable.
Edwards seems to have a better chance of playing than Corum. He has been an excellent rotational piece, but his season-high rush attempt total is just 16. If Corum is out, Edwards won’t be used to the workload. Quarterback McCarthy needs to have a big game in order to steady the offense.
This will be the Wolverines’ first underdog role this season (2-1 ATS on the road).
Buckeyes to Tighten Defense
The last few games have seen OSU’s defense stumbled against Northwestern and Maryland. Terrapins’ quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, best quarterback the Buckeyes have seen, had 293 yards through the air. The Wolverines could take that cue and throw more than usual, meaning the Buckeyes’ cornerbacks have to react.
Ahead of the regular season’s final week, OSU is the second choice (+250) to win the national title. If the Buckeyes fall here, Georgia will become a near-lock to repeat, as it’s currently priced at -140.
OSU, like the Wolverines, has a couple of injuries at running back. Miyan Williams (ankle) and TreVeyon Henderson (foot) are questionable. Freshman Dallan Hayden provides good depth, evidenced by his 146 rush yards against Maryland.
Dallan Hayden is (and will be) special. pic.twitter.com/nMtfvMSjl7
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 19, 2022
OSU will be locked in on stopping the run. The Wolverines rank fifth in rush yards per game, 91st in passing yards/game. Having surrendered only 2.7 yards per carry last week, OSU’s run defense feels good going into this one.
Michigan vs Ohio St. Game Injuries
Michigan vs Ohio St. Head-to-Head
So, last season, Michigan snapped an eight-game losing streak against Ohio State with a 42-27 win. If the Wolverines grab their second consecutive win, this could shift the rivalry in Michigan’s favor once again. Over the last six meetings, the two are knotted at 3-3 ATS. Also, the Buckeyes are 1-2 ATS in their last three home games against the Wolverines.
This Saturday’s meeting is reminiscent of 2006’s Game of the Century, when the No. 1 Ohio Buckeyes beat the No. 2 Wolverines, 42-39, in a classic. This one has the same implications.
Michigan vs Ohio St. Game Information
- Game: Michigan (11-0, 8-0 in Big 10) vs Ohio St. (11-0, 9-0)
- Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 26th, 12:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
- Michigan vs Ohio St. Live Stream: ESPN
Michigan vs Ohio St. Betting Lines
Michigan vs Ohio St. Picks & Prediction
The Wolverines are priced at +250 to win outright. However, with injuries at running back, it’s hard to back UM. The Buckeyes’ front seven is much-improved, fourth in allowed yards per carry. On the other side, Ohio St.’s third-string running back Hayden is improving, and the Wolverines allowed 148 rushing yards against Illinois.
In this rivalry, the team totaling more rushing yards has won 20 consecutive games. This will come down to the ground, despite Ohio St.’s explosive passing attack.
We like the over. While Michigan has gone under in eight of 11 games, running back injuries change the offense. UM will be forced to pass often, which won’t allow it to dominate the time of possession. OSU won’t be afraid to air it out, looking to score early and often. The Buckeyes have gone over in eight of the last nine.
Michigan is listed at +230 in our Vegas NCAAF lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Wolverines, you have a chance to win $230. Ohio St. is -280, offering a chance to win $36 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Wolverines a 30.30% chance to win, with the Buckeyes at 73.68%.