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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines Point Spread - Pick

Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Michigan Wolverines (8-3 SU, 4-6-1 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 12PM EST
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
TV: Fox

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: OSU -11/MICH +11
Over/Under Total: 50.5

The Ohio State Buckeyes come to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines in a Big Ten matchup on Saturday. Michigan fell to 8-3 on Saturday in a 24-10 loss to Wisconsin. Ohio State, meanwhile, was able to score a conclusive 52-14 victory over Illinois in preparation of this matchup. Both teams have not seen things go exactly according to plan, but a win here would go a long way toward making up for their 2017 regular-season disappointments. Ohio St. has been victorious in "The Game" for five straight seasons and the Wolverines have won this game just once since 2003. Last season's matchup was a good game, with Ohio State winning 30-27 in double-overtime in a back-and-forth battle.

The Wolverines certainly had their hands full with unbeaten Wisconsin last week. For much of the game, it was a defensive slugfest. In the third quarter, Wisconsin scored a pair of touchdowns, which broke open the game some. Michigan was unable to respond, with just a field goal making up their second-half scoring. And after taking a hit, Michigan QB Brandon Peters was carted off, as the Wolverines may again have to turn to John O'Korn at quarterback for this game and he was just 2-for-8 with 19 yards in relief of Peters. It was a punishing game in many ways for the Wolverines, who will really need to summon something to come out ahead this week. Peters is officially listed as questionable.

Michigan's offense looked to have found a decent QB in Peters, as play at the position has been iffy and a definite hurdle to greater success in the past few seasons. The Wisconsin "D" is one of the very few top defenses in the country and Peters wasn't bad until he got hurt. No one on offense could really get much going. The run-game, led by Chris Evans and Karan Higdon, couldn't really get untracked and when that's the case, this offense isn't likely to perform well. All told, the overall lack of playmaking ability on this side of the ball is the major culprit the Wolverines didn't get to where they wanted to be this season. Against the better opponents they faced, they just couldn't keep pace scoring-wise.

We saw the Michigan defense flexing its muscles on Saturday and for more than a half, Wisconsin had issues on offense, even with their run-game. Michigan's defense ended up eroding a bit, certainly not aided by an offense that ground to a halt. Overall, they're really good on this side of the ball. They are rigid against the run and have one of the best secondaries in the nation. In that area, kudos go to guys like Tyree Kinnel, Khaleke Hudson, Lavert Hill, David Long, and others. They get a good pass-rush from Devin Bush, Mike McCray, Chase Winovich, Maurice Hurst, and Rashan Gary. They've allowed an average of just 17 points a game.

Ohio State won their second in a row on Saturday. A loss a few weeks ago to Iowa was costly and rendered their CFP hopes very bleak indeed. Still, with wins over Michigan State and Penn State, they have clinched the Big Ten East title. They still have a good Michigan team on their schedule, with Wisconsin looming in the Big Ten title game. So there are still some things out there for the Buckeyes and one shouldn't expect anything but a full-effort this week in Ann Arbor.

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The Ohio State offense did what it was supposed to do on Saturday, which is pile up points against a sideways Illinois team. Quarterback JT Barrett was efficient and threw two TD passes, while running in another score. Their backs were big on the day, with Mike Weber putting up 108 yards and two touchdowns, while Antonio Williams and JK Dobbins added some production. Parris Campbell added a spark, also adding a 44-yard run, to boot. This is an offense that has shown a lot of balance this season, averaging 45 points a game. Still, their inability to keep pace with Oklahoma and Iowa are key among the reasons they are on the outside looking in as far as the CFP is concerned.

The Ohio State defense also offers a lot of balance with not a lot of weak spots. They have given up an average of less than 20 points per game. Against better conference opponents, they have been exploitable in recent weeks, giving up a preposterous 55 to Iowa and 38 to Penn State in a big win. They have a pretty complete defense, with difference-makers on all levels of this unit. They can rush the passer with guys like Nick Bosa and Tyquan Lewis, while corners Damon Arnette and Damon Webb have been adept at getting turnovers. Strangely, this defense has yet to score any points this season.

These games always make it challenging for bettors. It's one of those spots where you can sometimes throw the records out. This rivalry game means a lot to both schools. Ohio State's motivations are more-tangible, with premier bowl-placement and an outside CFP shot in the offing. But Michigan could cap off the regular season with a sense of atonement with a win this week. I see the Wolverines defense stepping up and keeping this one within distance. I'm taking the Blue.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Michigan Wolverines plus 11 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Buckeyes vs. Wolverines game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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