College football fans are in for a real treat on Saturday when the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor for a matchup with the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines.
Both teams are undefeated coming into “The Game,” and the winner will likely be awarded one of the four available FBS playoff spots and an opportunity to win a Big Ten championship and a possible national championship.
Please join me as I break down the CFB odds and offer a prediction for Saturday’s Big Ten Conference matchup between Ohio State and Michigan.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Betting Odds Analysis
Caesars Ohio opened Michigan at -235, but that number has dipped to -170 and may dip even lower. Money has come in on the Buckeyes, and +143 is probably the best price you’ll ever get if you fancy betting on Ohio State to win this game.
Michigan opened at -2.5 (-110), which is now -3.5 (-110). The moneyline moves the Wolverines’ way despite the spread rising a full point against them. That’s funny because sharper books like Pinnacle have Michigan -3 (-120), as does ESPN Bet.
The Over opened 47 points (-110), which has dropped to 46 (-110) at Caesars. Earlier this week, the forecast had called for wind and snowy conditions. That forecast has been updated, and while it will be chilly, the wind will be light without any precipitation in the forecast as of Thursday.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Best Bet
Saturday is for all the marbles; you can bet these young fellas will be fired up for this one. Michigan has won their last two meetings, and no love is lost between these two longtime and bitter rivals.
Michigan clearly has the better offense. The Wolverines schedule might have been softer, but Ohio State barely beating Notre Dame and Penn State might not be the victory lap some think that it is.
The Buckeyes offense has improved score-wise over their last three games, but scoring 30+ at home against Michigan State and Minnesota doesn’t mean much. The reality is the Buckeyes offense has played against two good defenses and managed a combined 37 points. They scored 20 points at home against Penn State and managed 10 points at Notre Dame before scoring a last-second TD. I believe the low-scoring version Buckeyes offense we saw against Notre Dame will be the one we see in the Big House against the best defensive unit in the country.
Michigan has the top-scoring offense in the Big Ten. Ohio State has the second-best scoring defense not only in the conference but nationally as well. That defense could be problematic if linebacker Tommy Eichenberg and defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. don’t suit up. Eichenberg is probably one of Ohio State’s best defensive players, and injuries have hampered Hall.
Finally, Michigan has been rushing the football successfully over its last two contests. The Buckeyes’ rushing defense is stout but penetrable, and I expect the Wolverines to run the football down the Buckeyes’ throat, throw when they must, and cover the -3.0 (-120) at ESPN Bet.
My Best Bet: Michigan -3.0 (-120) at ESPN Bet Ohio