The Ohio State Buckeyes will face the Michigan Wolverines in one of the oldest rivalries in college football. It's time to continue our college football odds series and make an Ohio State-Michigan prediction and pick.
This is easily the most important game of the season for both teams. Michigan has worked so hard to place themselves in playoff contention, and now their entire season is on the line. A loss here would certainly knock the Wolverines out of contention, but a win would probably be good enough for the fourth seed in the playoffs. A loss for the Buckeyes would likely end their playoff hopes, too, so they have just as much at stake as the Wolverines do.
Both of these teams desperately need a win, and it comes down to a huge rivalry game. Expect emotions to run high in what should be one of the games of the year.
Here are the Ohio State-Michigan odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Ohio State-Michigan Odds
Ohio State Buckeyes: -7.5 (-110)
Michigan Wolverines: +7.5 (-110)
Over: 64.5 (-114)
Under: 64.5 (-106)
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Why Ohio State Could Cover the Spread
The Buckeyes have been one of, if not the, best offensive teams in the entire nation. Quarterback CJ Stroud, a Heisman Trophy candidate, has led his team to a whopping 47 points per game, a number that is the best in all of college football. Ohio State's offense also racks up 559 yards per game, another number that ranks number one in the nation. The ground game has also been fantastic, as the Buckeyes' running backs have combined to average an incredible 5.9 yards per carry. This offense has been borderline unstoppable this season, and they should give this Michigan defense a handful.
Michigan's offense has been largely reliant on the run game this 2021. Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara has been efficient, but the rushing attack is the heart of this offense. That plays perfectly into Ohio State's hands, as they've been fantastic against opposing ground games this season. The Buckeyes have allowed only 3.1 yards per carry to their opponents on the year, and they face the third-most rushing plays in the nation. This is clearly an elite run defense, making this a tough matchup for Michigan.
Why Michigan Could Cover the Spread
If there's any defense that could slow down Ohio State, it's this Michigan unit. They've been an elite defense all season long, as they've allowed more than 20 points only once all year. The Wolverines also only allow 5.8 yards per pass attempt, a stat that showcases their ability to slow down opposing passing games. To make matters even better, Michigan's defense gives up a completion percentage of 54%, making them a Top 10 defense by that metric.
Coming into this game, the Wolverines are the best team in the nation at covering the spread. They've covered in nine of their 11 contests, and things get even better when we look at this specific matchup. Michigan is 5-1 against the spread when they play at home while also covering in the lone game they entered as underdogs. Home field advantage will also provide a huge boost, as every seat in the Big House will be filled.
Final Ohio State-Michigan Prediction & Pick
This is a tough pick, but the Wolverines have been immune to winning big games in years past. That trend should continue against a more talented and more dynamic Michigan squad.
Final Ohio State-Michigan Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes: -7.5 (-110)