Ohio State owns 11 wins in its last 12 meetings with rival Michigan, going 8-4 against the spread over that span, including one victory/cover in one try against the Wolverines under coach Jim Harbaugh. In the biggest game of this college football season so far, the Buckeyes battle the Maize and Blue on Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio.
Point spread: The Buckeyes opened as seven-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 37.4-37.3 Buckeyes (College football picks on every game)
Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread
Michigan recovered from that last-second loss at Iowa two weeks ago to beat a game Indiana outfit last week 20-10. The Wolverines trailed the Hoosiers 7-3 at the half, and 10-6 late into the third quarter, but scored the last 14 points of the game to avoid the upset.
On the day, Michigan outrushed Indiana 225-64, as running back De’Veon Smith hit the 100-yard mark for the second time in the last three games.
Two weeks ago, the Wolverines lost to the Hawkeyes 14-13 on a field goal on the last play of the game. That’s how close they are to perfection.
At 7-1 in conference play, and owner of the tiebreaker over Penn State, Michigan wins the Big Ten East with a victory Saturday.
Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread
Ohio State avoided an upset bid itself last week, beating Michigan State up in East Lansing, Michigan, 17-16. The Buckeyes trailed early 7-0, scored 17 of the game’s next 20 points to take a lead, then hung on from there, stopping a two-point conversion attempt with just under five minutes to go to preserve the victory.
On the first wintry day of the Big Ten season, Ohio State ran the ball 45 times for 224 yards, as freshman running back Mike Weber and quarterback J.T. Barrett both hit the 100-yard mark. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes defense held the Spartans to 334 total yards, 90 of which came on two plays.
At 7-1 in conference play, Ohio State is tied with Michigan and Penn State for the lead in the East. But the Buckeyes lose the tiebreaker against the Nittany Lions, who play Michigan State this week. So not only does OSU need to win Saturday to have a chance in the divisional race, but it needs an impressive performance to stay alive in the polling for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Ohio State bombed Michigan last year 42-13, but that won’t happen this time. The Wolverines might again have to play their backup quarterback, but who better to do a coach-up job in a spot like this than Harbaugh? The smart money here at sports betting sites likes Michigan, plus the points.
Michigan is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games against Ohio State.
The total has gone over in Michigan’s last three games against Ohio State.
Ohio State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games in Week 13.
All college football betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.