No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 2 Ohio State "The Game" Betting Preview

No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 2 Ohio State "The Game" Betting Preview

Ryan Knuppel
1 year ago
3 min read
Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud drops back to pass against Michigan

On Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines visit the Ohio State Buckeyes in "The Game", which has even bigger implications than usual this season.

Both teams are in the top four in the College Football Playoff rankings going into this contest, meaning that the winner will not only stay in the top four but will play in the Big Ten title game as well.

This game will feature a really interesting contrast in styles offensively, and the team that does the best job dealing with that will be in great shape to win the game.

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Michigan Wolverines

The Michigan Wolverines are 11-0 on the season and are ranked third behind Ohio State and Georgia. Michigan is a team that prides itself on its ability to run the ball and play defense, as they average 243.8 rushing yards per game, more than they average through the air.

Against Ohio State, they will need to keep their running game going against one of the best teams in the country to have a chance to win.

Interesting to note heading into this contest is that Ohio Stadium in Columbus has been a house of horrors for Michigan. 

They have not won a game in Columbus since the 2000 season, going over two decades without a win on the road against their rivals. If Michigan can change that here, they could find themselves in the College Football Playoff for the second straight season.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Ohio State Buckeyes are also 11-0 on the season, coming off their most recent win against Maryland. The Buckeyes are ranked second in the country, behind only Georgia in the rankings. Ohio State’s offensive strategy is centered around throwing the football, as they average 289.2 yards per game through the air.

Ohio State has been prolific offensively this season, averaging 46.5 points per game and quarterback C.J. Stroud throwing 35 touchdowns to four interceptions.

Here, Ohio State faces arguably the best defense that it will face all year in the Wolverines. Michigan is giving up an average of 11.7 points per game, and they have gone seven straight games without giving up 20 points or more.

As a result, Ohio State will need to be careful with the football, as any mistakes against such a quality defense could put them in a hole that would be tough to get out of.

Keys To The Game

The biggest key to this game for Michigan is understanding that they have nothing to lose here.

They are on the road against the second-ranked team in the country, and a respectable loss likely will not completely take them out of the College Football Playoff conversation. They just need to play the way that they usually play, and that will be enough to make this a tight game.

For Ohio State, the biggest key to this game is not letting Michigan dictate the tempo of the game. Michigan is going to try to run the ball and drain every ounce of the clock from this contest.

If Ohio State allows that to happen and reduces the number of total possessions that take place in this game, things could get more interesting than the Buckeyes would like.

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