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Ohio State vs. Michigan Football Pick with Analysis

11/26/11

Brady Hoke is having quite the debut year as the HC of Michigan. The Wolverines stand at 9-2 and they own wins over Notre Dame and Nebraska. He's still got to do one more thing though and it's one more REALLY BIG thing. That is defeat Ohio State for the first time since 2003. The greatest rivalry in college football will be played in Ann Arbor this year. The line opened at -8.5 at 5 Dimes and has been bet down to -7.5 with a posted total of 45.

The Michigan offense will rely on Denard Robinson. The fleet footed QB has passed for 1,791 yards and 15 TDs this year along with 14 INTs. His best work comes when he scrambles. He's got 947 yards and 14 TDs on the ground. He enters this game on a hot streak after tossing 2 TDs against Nebraska and running for 2 more. Needless to say, he's going to be pumped up for this game.

The difference between this Wolverines team and the Michigan teams of recent years is that they can play defense. They rank 6th in the nation in Points Against at 15.6 PPG. The Buckeyes are 14th at 19 PPG.

It's been a rough year for Ohio State, but new QB Braxton Miller is providing some light in the dark. He's incredibly athletic. The Cleveland Plain Dealer said that if Urban Meyer becomes HC next year the kid will win the Heisman before he finishes his time as a Buckeye. Yea, he's that good. The offense will also rely on RB Dan Herron who has is averaging 5.2 YPC since returning form suspension.

Once again, in a game of this magnitude, a rivalry game, we'd look at the dog first. Ohio State is an improved football team from the one that sputtered out of the gate in September. Their offense is moving the ball better and defense never was a problem. Hey, they beat Wisconsin 33-29.

But the numbers suggest Michigan is simply the better football team this year. The yards per point numbers would make Michigan a -7 point favorite which would indicate a chance to cover at +8. However our score prediction model has Michigan by a score of 26-12, a 14 point win, and that's the way we're going to go here.

Michigan State and Iowa were the only two teams able to stop Michigan this year and both of those games were on the road. The Michigan defense is every bit as good, or better than Ohio State and the offense of Michigan is much better. There's also the matter of revenge multiplies by 7. Yep, Ohio State has won 7 straight in this series and the last few were by wide margins. You can count on the fact that Michigan not only wants to win here, they want to win BIG. We think they will. Michigan -7.5 (watch the board - would love to get -7 or less)

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