Sep 22, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer
Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
- Ohio State is listed as the betting underdog for the first time since the 2015 National Championship.
- Alabama now owns the longest active streak in FBS, with 51 consecutive games listed as a betting favorite.
The Ohio State Buckeyes open as 3.5-point underdogs for this week’s matchup against their rival Michigan. It’s the first time since the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship against the Oregon Ducks (+5.5) — 51 games ago — that Ohio State has been listed as a betting underdog.
This is also the first time Buckeyes will be underdogs in Columbus since 2011, when they beat Russell Wilson and the Wisconsin Badgers, 33-29, as 8.5-point underdogs.
The last time Ohio State was a home underdog against Michigan was back in 2004 (+5); the Buckeyes won, 37-21.
With the Buckeyes’ streak as a favorite being snapped, Alabama is the new leader in the clubhouse. Including this week’s home game against Auburn, the Crimson Tide have been favored in 51 consecutive games, replacing the Buckeyes on top of the active favored list. And the new No. 2? Michigan, at 13 games.
Here are the longest active favored streaks in college football:
Ohio State was 23-28 (45.1%) against the spread over the streak, including 18-23 (43.9%) ATS as a double-digit favorite, which is a surprise for the third-most profitable college football team overall ATS in the Bet Labs database.
Alabama’s 51-game streak is 21 games shy of the 72-game record the Tide set between 2010 and 2015. They could tie the streak early in 2020 if they’re favored in 69 consecutive games entering that season (including playoff games and an SEC Championship in 2018 and 2019).
If Alabama does not make the title game or SEC Championship next season, the Tide could break the streak in the middle of the 2020 season.
A potential good sign for Ohio State? The 2015 title game was the Buckeyes’ third consecutive game as an underdog. They went 3-0 straight up over that stretch, winning by a combined score of 143-55. If the Buckeyes are going to sneak into the playoff, they will most likely need to repeat this same exact path through Santa Clara.