The top two teams in the Big Ten East square off Saturday as the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1, 8-0 in the Big Ten) square off with the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (10-1, 7-1 in the Big Ten). The Wolverines will host this game at Michigan Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 12:00 pm ET.
The Buckeyes moved up to the No. 2 spot in the country after decimating the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans last week 56-7. In the win, quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns.
At 7-1 in the conference, the Wolverines are trying to overtake the Buckeyes in the standings with a win Saturday. Last week, they beat Maryland 59-18 behind Cade McNamara, who threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
The Buckeyes are the favorite in this one despite playing on the road. They are -310 to win while the Wolverines’ moneyline sits at +240. The spread features Michigan +7.5 (-108), and the over/under for total points is 64.5 (-106).
Ohio State holds the best odds currently of winning the Big Ten Championship (-200). The Wolverines have the third-best odds at +400.
In terms of the National Championship, Ohio State has the second-best odds at +300 while Michigan is +5000.
By The Numbers
These have been two of the best teams in college football offensively this season. The Buckeyes currently sit atop the list in scoring, averaging 47.2 points per game. The Wolverines sit 12th, averaging 36.9 points.
Defensively, it is Michigan that holds the advantage. They rank sixth in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 16.3 points per game (10.2 at home). Ohio State isn’t too bad either, as they rank 15th, allowing 19 points per game (17 on the road).
Stroud Looks To Keep Ohio State In CFP Hunt
With the season drawing to a close, the race for the four College Football Playoff spots is on. For the Buckeyes and quarterback C.J. Stroud, a win over Michigan is one of the last big hurdles remaining.
For Stroud, he has been phenomenal this season and is currently the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy (-220). On the season, he has thrown for 3,468 yards, 36 touchdowns, and just five interceptions.
Stroud’s top targets this season have been Jaxon Smith-Njigba (69 receptions, 1,132 yards, six touchdowns), Garrett Wilson (60 receptions, 939 yards, 11 touchdowns), and Chris Olave (58 receptions, 848 yards, 13 touchdowns).
Led by Treveyon Henderson, the Buckeyes’ ground game has been solid too. Henderson has rushed 150 times this season for 1,098 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also has 18 receptions for 284 yards and another three scores.
Michigan Looking For Long Overdue Victory Over Ohio State
The last time that Michigan beat the Buckeyes was back in 2011. In fact, head coach Jim Harbaugh has never beaten Ohio State. The program is looking to change that on Saturday.
Leading the way for Michigan is junior quarterback Cade McNamara. On the season, he has thrown for 2,142 yards, 14 touchdowns, and just two interceptions.
The real threat for the Wolverines is their ground game. They currently rank 13th in rushing yards per game at 218.4 (274.2 at home).
Michigan has a bit of a two-headed monster in the backfield. Hassan Haskins leads the way with 216 rushes for 1,063 yards and 13 touchdowns. Blake Corum has also been solid, rushing 130 times for 778 yards and ten touchdowns.
Take Ohio State To Win And Cover
It is never easy traveling into Ann Arbor to take on Michigan, but Ohio State has certainly had their number over the last decade. This one should be interesting as both of these teams feature highly ranked units on both sides of the ball.
The key for Michigan will be to control the clock with the ground game, but if this turns into a shootout, they may not have enough ammo to keep up with Ohio State.
For that reason, take the Buckeyes to not only win but to cover the 7.5-point spread as well.