It’s Ohio State at Michigan this week, which means the rekindling of one of the best rivalries in sports, and it will be ripe for college football betting.
The Buckeyes are coming off of a blowout victory against Michigan State, which should give them confidence considering the Wolverines have already lost to the Spartans. Ohio State held Heisman hopeful Kenneth Walker III to just 25 yards rushing in a 56-7 rout. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in this all-important Week 13 Big Ten matchup.
Ohio State Keys to Victory
The Ohio State Buckeyes look as if they’re peaking at the right time. Quarterback C.J. Stroud seems unstoppable as he embarrasses defensive secondaries week after week. In the last two games, the Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 115-38, with Stroud throwing for 793 yards, 11 TDs, and no interceptions.
The game plan will be much the same this week, and you can expect Ohio State to throw early and often. In addition, they’ll look to replicate the same defensive strategy they had last week against the nation’s leading rusher.
Like the Spartans, the Michigan Wolverines also rely on the run and are second in the conference, averaging almost 220 rushing yards per game. However, the Buckeyes will hope to jump out early this week, thus taking the ball out of the running backs’ hands.
Michigan Keys to Victory
If Michigan wants to have a chance in this game, they’ll need to get pressure on the quarterback. Leaving Stroud untouched is a recipe for disaster, and with the receiving weapons he has at his disposal, he’ll quickly pick apart the defense.
Luckily, the Wolverines have the pass rushers that should be able to accomplish that. Aiden Hutchinson and David Ojabo have combined for 19 sacks on the year and will look to get after Stroud all afternoon.
I don’t think Ohio State has faced a defense as stout as Michigan all year long, and Michigan hasn’t faced an offensive juggernaut quite like Ohio State, so it will be interesting to see what happens when the two forces collide.
Best Bets for Point Spread and Total
Ohio State enters the game as -8.5 road favorites. They’ve certainly seen bigger spreads, including last week’s 18.5 against Michigan State, which they surpassed with ease. It’s hard not to like a single-digit point spread for a team that has been averaging over 47 points per game.
Michigan plays excellent defense, runs the ball well, and gets efficient quarterback play from Cade McNamara, but Ohio State is a whole different beast. The Wolverines would have to play a perfect game to have a shot, and even then, I’m not too fond of their chances.
The over/under currently sits at 64.5. The Buckeyes will put up points, and the Wolverines will likely have to open things up early to try and keep up. In this Ohio State vs. Michigan matchup, I like Ohio State to cover the spread and the over.
Ohio State at Michigan: Who Are You Taking?
It’s hard not to get excited about Ohio State at Michigan. This rivalry game was canceled last year due to Covid-19, so you can be sure that Ann Arbor will be rocking this year when the Buckeyes roll into town. Ohio State prevailed 56-27 in 2019, so the Wolverines will have revenge on their minds.
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