Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines Odds, Analysis, Betting Pick

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2017

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 18:  J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini on November 18, 2017 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes now own a 59-48 lead in the all-time rivalry with the Michigan Wolverines, after winning 12 of the last 13 meetings, including the last five in a row. But Michigan is 3-1 against the spread over the last four meetings, keeping games close as an underdog. Can the Wolverines cover as home dogs when Ohio State visits the Big House on Saturday afternoon?


College football point spread: The Buckeyes opened as 13-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 39.8-24.6 Buckeyes (College football picks on every game)

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Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread

The Buckeyes are a convincing 2-0 since that shocking loss at Iowa, after defeating Illinois last week 52-14. Ohio State scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, led 38-0 at the half and later had the 41-point spread covered with a 52-7 lead. But the Buckeyes gave up a meaningless score with 10 minutes to go and declined to chase the cash.

On the afternoon, Ohio State outgained Illinois 543-105, outrushed the Illini 325-89 and won time of possession 37-23. The Buckeyes also might have covered had they not pulled their starters and given up a fumble return for an Illinois touchdown in the third quarter. Ohio State has now outgained nine of its 11 opponents this season, six of them by 300 yards or more.

The Buckeyes are already headed for a Big Ten championship bout with Wisconsin, but at 9-2 overall, Ohio State still harbors faint hopes of making the College Football Playoff, and style points might still count.


Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread

The Wolverines won three games in a row heading into last week but fell at Wisconsin 24-10. Michigan actually outplayed the unbeaten Badgers for about three quarters and led 10-7. But the Wolverines lost quarterback Brandon Peters to injury and came up empty from there, as Wisconsin scored the final 17 points of the game.

On the day, Michigan only produced 234 yards of offense but only allowed 325. Unfortunately, the Wolverines also gave up a touchdown on a punt return, had a touchdown of their own negated by an iffy officiating call and then lost a subsequent fumble from the Wisconsin five-yard line.

Prior to last week, the Wolverines had won three Big Ten games in a row by an average score of 34-11.

Last year Michigan led the Buckeyes at the Horseshoe 17-7 in the third quarter but eventually lost 30-27 in overtime thanks in large part to a questionable Ohio State first down.


Smart pick

If the cards fall right, the Buckeyes could still make the CFP. Also, playing on the road means the spread is more amenable. Michigan, meanwhile, isn't sure who's going to play quarterback this week. Smart money here sides with Ohio State.


College football betting trends

Ohio State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games against Michigan.

The total has gone over in Ohio State's last four games against Michigan.

Michigan is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games in Week 13.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.