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College Football Betting – Ohio State at Michigan
WHO: Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) at Michigan Wolverines (8-3 SU, 6-4 ATS)
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Noon ET at Michigan Stadium (FieldTurf – artificial) in Ann Arbor — Televised by ABC
BETUS COLLEGE FOOTBALL BETTING LINE: Ohio State -4.5
LAST POINTSPREAD RESULT: Ohio State lost to Illinois 28-21 as a 15.5-point home favorite. The Buckeyes gave up 260 rushing yards. Michigan suffered a 37-21 defeat to Wisconsin as a 2.5-point road favorite. The Wolverines surrendered 478 total yards to the Badgers in that one.
HEAD-TO-HEAD college football betting trends:
* OHIO STATE has three consecutive SU wins in the series
* OHIO STATE has won five of the last six meetings SU
* OHIO STATE has covered four of the last six meetings
* Five of the last six meetings have gone OVER the total
* MICHIGAN has won four of the last six meetings SU in Ann Arbor
LAST MEETING: In a thriller that featured the nation’s #1 (Ohio State) vs. #2 (Michigan) teams, Ohio State emerged as the 42-38 winner at home, failing to cover as a 6.5-point favorite.
ABOUT OHIO STATE:
The Good News — Ohio State is rated #7 by the USA Today, AP and BCS. The Buckeyes have gotten a pleasantly productive season out of QB Todd Boeckman, who is ranked 12th in the nation in passing efficiency, with 23 TD’s, 11 INT’s and 65% completions. OSU has almost perfect offensive balance, gaining 209 yards per game through the air and 201 on the ground. The defense is ranked 1st nationally, allowing 2.7 yards per rush and 11.4 points per game.
The Bad News — The Buckeyes generally don’t get good field position, averaging just 16.8 yards a kickoff returns, last in the country. Also, Illinois was able to run at will against Ohio State, which opens up questions as to how good this stop unit really is. As it stands now, the Buckeyes really have no chance to get to the BCS championship game, and can lose any BCS at all if they lose to Michigan.
OHIO STATE TRENDS:
* OHIO ST has covered 10 of its last 12 road games
* OHIO ST has covered eight of its last 10 Big Ten road games
* OHIO ST has covered nine out of its last 13 as a road favorite
* OHIO ST has covered 32 of its last 47 games
* OHIO ST has played four of its last five games OVER the total
The Good News — After losing consecutive games to Appalachian State and Oregon to start the season, Michigan was able to rebound to put itself into contention for the Big Ten title. That is commendable. The year started out with talk about whether voters should put Appalachian State in the top 25. At this point Michigan is #23 in both the USA Today and Associated Press polls, and actually has a chance to get to the Rose Bowl.
The Bad News — Chad Henne and Mike Hart, who began the season as Heisman candidates, have been beset by injuries. Henne was removed in the first quarter of the game with Wisconsin (shoulder injury) and Hart (ankle) sat out the game entirely. Both should be set to go here, though they will not be near 100%. If Henne can’t make post, freshman Ryan Mallett, who was 11 for 36 with two interceptions against Wisconsin, will have to fill in. Michigan, like Ohio State, doesn’t returns kickoffs too well either, chalking up just 18.4 per return (109th).
* MICHIGAN has covered four of its last five games
* MICHIGAN has covered seven of its last eight as an underdog
* MICHIGAN has covered four of five home games this season (does not count loss to Appalachian St.)
* MICHIGAN has played four of its last six home games UNDER the total
Free Pick: CONCLUSION:
Don’t mistake Ohio State for just any one-loss team. The Buckeyes will come out fired up, and have demonstrated strength when going out away from home. They still have plenty of working parts on offense, and in Jim Tressel they probably possess a sizable edge in the coaching department. This is the kind of game where Michigan’s big weapons, like Mike Hart and Chad Henne, would have to be close to full strength for them to win. That is not the case. So we feel confident in laying the wood with Ohio State, the 4.5 point favorite in the Top Sportsbooks college football betting odds.
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