Ohio State owns the recent rivalry with Michigan, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings straight up, going 8-3 against the spread. But the Wolverines have covered the last two and now shoot for an outright victory, and perhaps more, when they battle the Buckeyes at the Big House Saturday afternoon.
Point spread: The Buckeyes opened as 2.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 32.2-31.2 Buckeyes
Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread
OSU started 10-0 this season and appeared on its way to another conference championship and berth in the College Football Playoff but lost last week at home to Michigan State 17-14 on a field goal at the buzzer. The Buckeyes led the Spartans 14-7 into the fourth quarter but gave up the last 10 points of the game.
It was the first time this season Ohio State had been outgained.
Despite the defeat, the Buckeyes aren't quite dead yet. With a win over Michigan, and help from Penn State in the form of an upset victory over the Spartans, Ohio State would find itself back in the Big 10 Championship Game and probably a victory away from the playoff.
Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread
The Wolverines ride a four-game winning streak into this classic rivalry battle after beating Penn State in Happy Valley last week 28-16. Michigan trailed the Nittany Lions 10-7 late into the second quarter but outscored them from there 21-6 on its way to the victory and the cover as a three-point road favorite.
On the day, the Wolves outgained Penn State 343-207 and went 7-of-14 on third-down conversions, helping negate 13 penalties called against them. Michigan has now outgained nine of 11 opponents this season.
The Wolverines, like Ohio State, need a win Saturday and help from Penn State to claim the conference championship. They would control their own destiny if their punter hadn't botched that snap against the Spartans six weeks ago.
The Buckeyes never played up to expectations this season, and it finally caught up to them last week. Can the Ohio State bounce back? It's difficult after having your heart ripped out; look at what's happened to LSU since its loss to Alabama. Michigan, meanwhile, is playing with verve under new head coach Jim Harbaugh and would love nothing more than to add to Ohio State's misery.
Take the Wolverines, the team with the better attitude.
Ohio State is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games on the road against Michigan.
Michigan is 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games at home in November.
Ohio State is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games after a loss.