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Ohio State owns the recent rivalry with Michigan, winning 13 of the last 14 matchups straight up, including the last six in a row. But the Wolverines are 4-1 against the spread over the last five meetings.
In the game that will decide the Big Ten East and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff, Michigan battles the Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe.
College football point spread: The Wolverines opened as 3.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 41.2-31.2 Wolverines (College football picks on every game)
Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread
The Wolverines stretched their winning streak to 10 by holding off a game Indiana outfit last Saturday 31-20. Michigan trailed the Hoosiers at halftime 17-15 but drove its first possession of the second half 67 yards to a touchdown for a lead it would not relinquish, winning the second half 16-3.
On the day, the Wolverines out-gained Indiana 507-385, ran the ball for 257 yards and won time of possession by a 36/24 split. So Michigan has now out-gained each of its 11 opponents this season, 10 of them by at least 115 yards, and out-rushed 10 of its 11 foes.
The Wolverines are also 4-2 ATS their last six times out, and should be 5-1 if not for one busted play on defense a couple weeks ago against Rutgers.
Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread
Ohio State also advanced to 10-1 on the season by surviving an upset bid from Maryland last week 52-51 in overtime. The Buckeyes spotted the Terrapins the first seven points of the game, trailed 31-17 in the third quarter and 45-38 with less than two minutes to go. But they drove 50 yards to a touchdown to force OT, scored seven on their first possession of extra play, allowed a Maryland touchdown but won the game with a defensive stop on a two-point conversion.
On the day, Ohio State piled up 36 first downs and 688 yards of total offense, 283 on the ground and 405 through the air. So the Buckeyes have now out-gained 10 of their 11 opponents this season, including their last six straight.
The last time Ohio State was pegged as an underdog it walloped Oregon in the 2014 national championship game. The last time the Buckeyes were underdogs against Michigan, back in 2011, they lost but covered. And the last time they were lined as home dogs, also in 2011, they beat Wisconsin.
Smart betting pick
Ohio State won this matchup last year 31-20, but the Buckeyes aren’t quite the team now that they were then, while the Wolverines are improved. Also, Michigan owns the better overall performance this season against common opponents. The smart money here likes the Wolverines.
College football betting trends
Michigan is 4-1 ATS in its last five games vs. Ohio State.
The total has gone over in Michigan’s last five games vs. Ohio State.
Ohio State is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games vs. its conference.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.