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Ohio State Buckeyes (+3.5) open as rare underdogs vs. Michigan Wolverines

Ohio State has been favored in its past 51 games, the longest such streak in the nation and one that dates back to the 2015 College Football Playoff championship.

That streak will likely end this week.

The sportsbook at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Sunday installed the Buckeyes as 3.5-point underdogs against Michigan. Ohio State hosts the Wolverines on Saturday in a showdown that will decide the Big Ten East Division champion.

Barring dramatic line movement this week, the Wolverines will be favored over Ohio State for the first time since 2011, when Michigan knocked off the Buckeyes 40-34 as 8-point favorites. It was the Wolverines’ last win in the series.

Ohio State has won 13 of the past 14 meetings against Michigan, which hasn’t won in Columbus since 2000.

The Buckeyes were last underdogs to Oregon in the championship game of the inaugural College Football Playoff. Ohio State beat the Ducks 42-20 as 6.5-point underdogs.

If the line holds, Saturday will be only the seventh time the Buckeyes have been underdogs under coach Urban Meyer. They won the previous six games straight-up, including the title game against Oregon in 2015.

It also would mark the first time the Buckeyes have been home underdogs in Meyer’s seven seasons. The last time a Meyer-coached team was a home underdog was in 2003, when he was at Utah, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Prior to this season, Las Vegas sportsbooks had the Buckeyes listed as 9-point favorites over the Wolverines. Michigan has looked like the better team, though, and is riding a 10-game winning streak.

Alabama now has the longest streak of being favored. The Crimson Tide, who opened as 24-point favorites in this week’s Iron Bowl against Auburn, have been favored in 51 consecutive games and 123 of their past 124 games overall. Alabama was a consensus 1-point underdog at Georgia in 2015.

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