Michigan at Ohio State Odds
This Saturday the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes will host the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines in one of the biggest rivalry games in the country. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 EST at Ohio Stadium and will be televised nationally on ABC. Oddsmakers have listed Ohio State as 3.5-point home favorite with the total set at 54.5 points.
Why Michigan Will Cover
The Wolverines had little trouble getting past the Hawkeyes this past weekend, as they came away with a 42-17 blowout win as a 17-point favorite. Michigan improved to 8-3 overall and 6-1 inside the conference. The only loss the Wolverines suffered in Big Ten play was a 9-23 loss on the road to Nebraska in a game where they looked lost after losing starting quarterback Denard Robinson.
Michigan replaced Robinson with red-shirt freshman Russell Bellomy in that game against the Cornhuskers. Bellomy clearly wasn’t ready for the situation, as he completed just 3 of 16 attempts for 38 yards with three interceptions. That opened up the door for junior quarterback Devin Gardner, who has since held on to the top stop even with Robinson back from injury. In three starts, Gardner has completed just under 66% of his passes for 834 yards with 7 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
An injury to starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has really made things interesting for Michigan, as Robinson was used at running back in last week’s game against the Hawkeyes. He finished with 98 yards on just 13 attempts, while Gardner rushed for 37 yards and three scores. These two figure to cause all sorts of problems for the Buckeyes. While Ohio State comes in with the 18th ranked run defense allowing just 116.8 ypg, they allowed Wisconsin to put up over 200 yards last week. The third time this season they have allowed an opponent to rack up more than 200 yards on the ground.
Add in the threat of Gardner in the passing game and it could be extremely hard for Ohio State to stop the Wolverines offensive attack. Last year Michigan finished ran all over the Buckeye defense (227 yards) in a 40-34 win at home. There’s a good chance this game won’t be decided until the final minutes of regulation, which gives the Wolverines a lot of value at 3.5.
Why Ohio State Will Cover
You have to be impressed with what head coach Urban Meyer has done in his first season with the Buckeyes. Despite the fact that Ohio State is suspended from postseason play, Meyer has got his team to come out and play like they are trying to earn a spot in the national championship. With last week’s 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin, they improved to 11-0 with a 7-0 record inside the Big Ten.
Not only do the Buckeyes have a chance to finish the season with a perfect record, they will be out for some serious revenge after losing to Michigan last year. Ohio State had won the previous seven meetings between these two schools, with their last three wins all coming by at least 11 points. This is a big game for Meyer, as the Buckeye faithful truly judge a coach by how he does in this rivalry game.
The fact that this game is being played at The Horseshoe is enough to have most people jumping on the Buckeyes. Ohio State is 7-0 at home this season with all seven of those wins coming by at least a touchdown. The key in this game is how these two teams have played when going up against top notch opponents. Michigan is a miserable 6-15 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons, while Ohio State is 13-4 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record over that same stretch.