Michigan St. vs. Ohio St. Betting Odds & Picks: Bet Sparty as an Underdog?
Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: J.K. Dobbins
- Our experts analyze the Michigan State-Ohio State betting odds and picks.
- The Buckeyes are favored to win by 20 points, while over/under for total points scored sits at 49.
- Here are our best bets for this Big Ten showdown.
Michigan St at Ohio St Betting Odds & Picks
- Spread: Ohio State -20
- Over/Under: 49
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
- Location: Columbus, Ohio
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Michigan State at Ohio State Line Movement
Only one of Ohio State’s wins has come by less than 40 points, so it’s not too surprising to see the public backing the Buckeyes in the -20 range this weekend. The 64% of bets and 66% of money behind OSU has put sportsbooks in an interesting spot, though.
Feeling the liability of an Ohio State cover, they’ve nudged the line up to -20.5, but any time they’ve furthered that movement to the key number of 21, sharps have pounced on the Spartans right away. No books have been able to hold a three-touchdown spread for more than a few minutes.
As for the total, it’s barely budged from its opening range of 48-50. It currently sits smack in the middle at 49 as 56% of bets and 62% of money have landed on the over. — Danny Donahue
Collin Wilson: How to Play the Over/Under
The term “toughest test yet” may be a cliche, but it holds true for Saturday’s matchup between Michigan State and Ohio State.
Ohio State has flown through the first five weeks, but its schedule was filled with teams that had trouble protecting the ball and defending against explosive plays. No offense could keep up with Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins and company.
Michigan State’s offense won’t strike fear into any opponent, but the defense has a fighting chance of keeping this game within the number.
Ohio State is second in the nation in defensive havoc, thanks to eight forced fumbles and 52 tackles for loss. The Buckeyes, led by soon-to-be NFLer Chase Young, are experts at living in the backfield of opponent offenses.
That being said, the Spartans offense ranks eighth in havoc allowed, with just five fumbles and one interception to this point in the season. That has allowed Brian Lewerke and the passing offense to rack up some big plays. The Spartans rank 11th in the country in producing passing plays for 20-plus yards.
The Michigan State offensive line may be up to the task, despite injuries and player position changes.
Michigan State’s defense hasn’t caused the same amount of disruption that Ohio State’s has, but Sparty still ranks 13th in the nation in Havoc, led by 27 passes defensed.
Michigan State hasn’t faced a tough schedule, but the Spartans’ defense still ranks inside the top-5 in line yards, opportunity rate and sack rate. This will truly be Ohio State’s ‘toughest test yet’.
The market is still trending towards three scores, but it has yet to settle at 21.
If Ohio State does get a double-digit lead, Lewerke may start hitting his receivers for big plays, something he’s had success with this season.
According to our projections, this spread is spot on but Michigan State’s sneaky prowess at getting the ball down field lends value to the Over 49.
The Pick: Over 49
Stuckey: The Number on Sparty Is Too Good To Pass Up
I feel like a broken record here but I’m simply playing the number on Sparty, as I make this line closer to -14 than to -20.
I’ve adjusted Ohio State aggressively, as I think the Buckeyes are legitimate on both sides of the ball and a true national title contender, but the love in the market has gone too far. Inflation has hit Columbus hard.
I played it at 20 for a half unit and will add another if it hits 21 or higher. I also like the Under down to 48. But let’s start with the spread.
Like Collin said, this is the biggest test of the season for an Ohio State offense that looks potent. Michigan State boasts what I consider to be the best rush defense in the country. Last year, the Spartans finished second in the nation, allowing only 2.6 yards per carry. This year, they’ve been even better, allowing only 1.9, which is also second in the nation behind only Wisconsin.
This is the one team that can bottle up J.K. Dobbins and an Ohio State rush offense that’s averaging 6.2 yards per rush — fifth in the nation.
I fully expect this Michigan State defense to bounce back from one of its poorest outings in recent memory last week against Indiana, which ended Michigan State’s streak of 16 consecutive games without allowing an opponent to reach 30 points. From a yards per play perspective, the MSU defense sits in the top-5 nationally.
When Sparty has the ball, I expect Mark Dantonio to play very slowly to try and limit the possessions and keep Ohio State’s explosive offense on the sidelines. Sparty will also likely play a conservative style to help protect its offensive line. As it stands right now, Sparty will likely be starting a true freshman at left tackle opposite Young.
I can’t see Michigan State creating a ton of offense against the Buckeyes, who rank second in yards per play.
The Spartans have really struggled to move the ball on a consistent basis, especially on the ground. A lot of the problems stem from the numerous injuries along the offensive front. Lewerke may hit a few deep passes but this offense will have to find a way to grind.
Another factor that should help the Under is that Ohio State has one of the best punters in the nation. When the Buckeyes have to punt (which I’m hoping they do at least a few times), he can pin the Sparty offense deep and flip the field.
Bottom line: I think this is too many points. I ultimately think the Sparty defense shows up and at least finds a way to get to 10-14 points while holding Ohio State to less than 31.
And before you ask, yes I’m petrified of this bet.
The Picks: Under 48 or lower; Michigan State +20