It is officially rivalry week, and one of the better matchups in college football is set to have as high stakes as ever. This year’s version of The Game will serve as an unofficial play-in game for the College Football Playoff. Let’s look over the CFB odds and break down the Ohio-State Michigan prediction.
The Ohio State Buckeyes will welcome the Michigan Wolverines this weekend in a battle of undefeated teams. Ohio State and Michigan are No. 2 and No. 3 in the latest CFP rankings, with the winner earning a trip to the Big Ten Championship and moving one step closer to playing for a national title.
Be sure to check out our OddsShopper tool for the best college football odds.
CFB Odds: Ohio State-Michigan Odds
Michigan: +7.5 (-110)
Ohio State: -7.5 (-110)
Wolverines Will Rely on Defense To Repeat
This week’s battle in Columbus is truly a matchup of strength vs. strength. The Wolverines (11-0) are led by their defense, giving up an average of 11.7 points per game, which ranks second in the country behind the Georgia Bulldogs (11.1).
Michigan has given up more than 17 points once, a 34-27 win over the Maryland Terrapins in late September. The Wolverines have held four opponents to single-digits, and pitched a shutout in Week 3.
That level of resume is especially impressive considering what Michigan lost from last year’s team. Aidan Hutchinson, who is now with the Detroit Lions, led a defense that carried Michigan to the College Football Playoff, where it lost to Georgia in the semifinals.
Michigan held Ohio State under four touchdowns during last year’s 42-27 victory in Ann Arbor, a performance that snapped an eight-game skid in this rivalry. The Wolverines will have to replicate that showing to keep their CFP dreams alive this weekend.
Buckeyes Hope To Overwhelm On Offense
ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Buckeyes a 71.8% chance of winning this matchup, and it is easy to see why when you look at their offensive numbers. Ohio State (11.0) is tied for first in the nation in scoring with an average of 46.5 points per game (Tennessee Volunteers).
Quarterback C.J. Stroud is a Heisman Trophy front-runner. He’s thrown for 2,991 yards to go along with 34 touchdowns and four interceptions, and paces college football with a 89.7 QBR.
Ohio State has scored at least 40 points in nine games but has looked vulnerable of late. The Buckeyes were held to three touchdowns in a 21-7 win over the Northwestern Wildcats on Nov. 5 and had to hold off the Maryland Terrapins in a 43-30 victory last weekend.
OSU holds a 52-48-4 all-time series lead, which includes 17-3 clip over the past 20 meetings between these two schools.
Final Michigan-Ohio State Prediction & Pick
Early money has been on the Wolverines, which is why this spread has moved from 9 to 7.5 across the board. It seems unlikely it will get to a touchdown, as smart money would probably scoop it up.
The Buckeyes have looked more vulnerable but still have enough firepower to eventually pull away at home. Bet on Ohio State to avenge last year’s defeat and return to the College Football Playoff this season.
Best Ohio State-Michigan Bet: Ohio State -7.5 (-110) at FanDuel