NCAAF Michigan Vs. Ohio State Odds, Picks, Predictions (11/26/22)

While it’s sad to say we have hit the last regular week of the season, it brings nothing but excitement for our viewing pleasure as it’s officially rivalry week. No rivalry exemplifies that more this year than Michigan traveling to Ohio State in a battle for the Big Ten East with serious playoff implications on the line.

Michigan Vs. Ohio State Odds

While Michigan steam rolled Ohio State last season in an upset victory and have looked crisp ever since, oddsmakers still believe the Buckeyes right the ship this time around by pegging them as a favorite of over a touchdown. Sitting at -10.5 all season in lookahead lines, this number has dropped to as low as -7.5 on some books as we near kickoff.

As for the total, defense is expected to be a factor as this number has been steaming down since opening at 60.5. Currently sitting at 57, it will be intriguing to see how low this can go before the over hits buy-low territory with both units possessing good offenses.

Michigan Vs. Ohio State Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Michigan +8

It’s never easy for me to back Michigan as the biggest Michigan sports hater in the world, but that is exactly what I’m doing for “The Game”. Especially if Corum plays as expected, Michigan has plenty of firepower to keep pace with Ohio State this time around and cover a number of over a touchdown while projections have them around +5.5.

Michigan retained the same identity of last year even after losing key pieces on defense to the NFL Draft. They field a vaunted defense that relies on pressure while sucking the life out of opposing defenses with a conservative offense that limits turnovers while gaining chunks of yards one carry at a time.

Speaking of retaining the Michigan offensive identity, they rank top-5 in Overall Success Rate and top-10 in Off Havoc. Even if Corum is incapable of suiting up, Michigan will have a dangerous playmaker in the backfield with Donovan Edwards bringing in more of a receiving threat.

Whether it’s Corum or Edwards, Michigan will be able to keep their game script the same as they rank fourth in Off Rush Success Rate behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Ohio State will be their toughest test yet, a unit that is one of the best in the nation in stopping the run but have been susceptible to allowing teams to gain large chunks at a time with poor defensive explosiveness.

If Michigan’s offense can capitalize on OSU’s gaps in the second level, then they will be able to keep this close throughout the course of the game.

Michigan Vs. Ohio State Key Matchups

Can Ohio State’s hobbled backfield find success against Michigan’s defense? How will JJ McCarthy handle the Buckeyes secondary?

Dallan Hayden vs Michigan’s rush defense

While still fielding one of the most elite offenses in years past, this unit has taken massive blows to the backfield with injuries to TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams. While it’s unclear if they will suit up, let alone not be able to play at 100%, then Ohio State will lean heavily on the production of freshman Dallan Hayden.

He comes into this one with some momentum as he flashed in his last game out against Maryland, finishing with a stat line of 146 rushing yards and three touchdowns. 

It will be interesting to see how Ohio State divides up the game plan between the pass and rush attack against Michigan’s elite defense. Michigan is top-5 in Success Rate in both fields, potentially giving the Buckeyes offense the same fits as they did last season.

JJ McCarthy vs Ohio State’s secondary

While we know what CJ Stroud is capable of doing as the potential Heisman winner and number one draft pick in next year’s draft, JJ McCarthy provides a lot more question marks than answers while he’s under center for Michigan.

One of my worries is his struggles in the air should Ohio State shut down Michigan’s run game behind an elite rush defense. While he has put up a respectable stat line this season with 1,952 yards, 18 touchdowns, and two interceptions, he has looked downright sloppy in their last few games and that will not fly this time around.

His dual threat ability is an added bonus and makes up for the lackluster passing. It will also be worth monitoring to see if he can take advantage of Ohio State’s Def Pass Explosiveness as they are below average and susceptible to getting beat over the top of their secondary.

Verdict

Take Michigan at +7.5 or better in what will be another thrilling installment into this rivalry.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. Residing in Northern MI his whole life, he graduated from GVSU with a Bachelors in Finance but quickly set his sights on the sports betting industry. He started his career contributing for The Action Network, covering NCAAF/NCAAB/and NFL. Born into Detroit Lions fandom, he knows nothing but pain and false optimism while repetitively telling himself this is our year. That is until they win the Super Bowl this year.

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