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Michigan-Ohio State Betting Odds: Opening Spread for ‘The Game’

Nov 19, 2018 8:50 AM EST
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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: J.K. Dobbins

  • Michigan is a 3.5-point betting favorite against Ohio State in "The Game" after sportsbooks released official odds on Sunday.
  • It's the first time the Wolverines have been favored in Columbus since 2004.
  • Ohio State was a 9-point favorite when books opened this line in the summer, implying these teams have combined to swing about two touchdowns in their power ratings since.

Michigan and Ohio State will play for the Big Ten East title on Saturday, and the Wolverines will be the betting favorite in Columbus for the first time since 2004.

Books opened Michigan -2 at Ohio State, almost a two-touchdown swing from the spread for this game that opened in the summer. It was quickly bet up to Michigan -3.5, then to -4 overnight into Monday morning.

Michigan is coming off a 31-20 win over Indiana, while Ohio State survived against Maryland 52-51 in an epic overtime game.

Michigan-Ohio State Betting Odds Movement

In May, South Point in Las Vegas opened Ohio State -9. The Buckeyes were one of the three best teams in the country from a power rating perspective.

After Michigan lost to Notre Dame to open the season, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had Ohio State -9.5. Slowly but surely, that line has come down.

On Oct. 22 — two days after Ohio State got blown out by Purdue — the line was down to Buckeyes -2.5. Then Michigan blew out Penn State, and Wisconsin and Ohio State continued to struggle against Nebraska, Michigan State and Maryland.

Michigan-Ohio State Betting History

Since 1980, Michigan and Ohio State have been favored in “The Game” 19 times each. The Buckeyes have a slight against-the-spread edge at 20-16-2.

Recently, it’s been all Buckeyes. They’ve been favored in every season since 2005 except 2011, when Ohio State went 6-7 in-between the Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer eras.

While Ohio State is 1-4 ATS over the past five seasons vs. Michigan, it’s won all those games straight-up and has dropped just one game in this rivalry since 2004.

Speaking of 2004, that was the last time Michigan was favored in Columbus. The Buckeyes rolled, 37-21. Prior to that, the Wolverines had not been favored at Ohio State since 1992.

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