Ohio State – Michigan NCAAF Point Spread Pick

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Ohio State



Big 10

Football Pick


After losing its first Game of the season, Ohio State must recoup quickly with a road contest at Michigan up next. These teams still have a slight shot at winning the Big Ten East, but would need Michigan State to lose on Saturday for that to happen. The Wolverines opened as a -1.5 point favorite (at 5 Dimes Sportsbook) at the Big House, with this line expected to move plenty throughout the week.

The Wolverines needed Michigan State to lose last week, but they’ll be just fine seeing the Buckeyes go down for the first time this season. Michigan picked up an impressive road win at Penn State last weekend after struggling in previous road contests. They may be favored here, but having lost in three straight matchups and nine of the last 10 against Ohio State, that number doesn’t mean much in this rivalry. Both teams are out for blood.

Ohio State had a perfect view of the Big Ten title, and as a two-touchdown favorite against Michigan State going against backup quarterbacks, didn’t expect to lose. And now, with turmoil in the locker room, has to travel to rival Michigan to close out the season. The Buckeyes have been spotty all year (4-7 ATS) and a poor Game plan last week likely cost them a chance at the title.

Michigan has battled in this matchup the last two years as a big underdog. But now as a slight favorite, will that change its mentality at all? The Wolverines will need a similar Game plan to that of the Spartans. Run the ball and stop the run.

The problem for Michigan is that they aren’t as good in the trenches as Michigan State is. against a tough defense last week, the Wolverines sort of gave up on the run after totaling 87 yards on 30 carries. They’ll need to do a better job than that against Ohio State to win this week. Jake Rudock has looked much improved in recent Games, there’s no doubt about that, but this is probably the toughest defense he’s had to face all season and if the ground Game isn’t working, he could find some trouble.

As for Ohio State, they are dealing with a top running back that openly complained about last week’s Game plan. Ezekiel Elliott (1,458 yards, 17 TDs) is one of the best in the nation, but calling out coaches isn’t a good look. He finished with just 33 yards against Michigan State, a defense that has lacked against the pass all year. The good news for OSU is that Michigan’s run defense isn’t as good as MSU’s. If they can get Elliott going, this offense will look much different than a week ago. But if JT Barrett (9-of-16 for 46 yards) can’t pass on the Spartans, he’ll probably have a worse time of it against the Wolverines.

The Buckeyes are 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings, but the Wolverines have covered in two straight as huge underdogs. The over is 5-2 in the last seven Games played at the Big House.

Ohio State has a big task coming off a loss to play at Michigan, which gives the Wolverines the edge in that department. Throw in the issues the offense had last week and this could be a losing streak for the Buckeyes.

Our Pick – Michigan -1.5

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