After Michigan suffered an eight-game losing streak against archrival Ohio State from 2012 through ’19, the Wolverines have comfortably knocked off the Buckeyes each of the past two seasons, 42–27 in 2021 and 45–23 in ’22. Saturday’s game in Ann Arbor once again has significant Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff ramifications, and the Wolverines find themselves in an unfamiliar spot ahead of the game: even with coach Jim Harbaugh suspended, they are favored in sportsbooks across the country.
SI Sportsbook has Michigan installed as a 3.5-point favorite as of Monday morning, with -200 moneyline odds, and total points at 46.5.
Although the line may move a bit prior to Saturday’s rivalry game, Michigan is poised to be a favorite at kickoff for the first time since ’18, per Covers. That year, Michigan was also a 3.5-point favorite, at 10–1 and No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Ohio State, which was also 10–1 and No. 10 in the country, won that game in Columbus going away, 62–39.
For Ohio State, these are uncharted waters. The Buckeyes have not been a regular-season underdog in any game since that ’18 matchup against Michigan.
Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines enter Saturday at 11–0 overall and 8–0 in Big Ten play on the season, with Ohio State currently sitting at No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, followed by Michigan at No. 3.
The Wolverines are 5-5-1 against the spread this season, while the Buckeyes sit at 6-4-1.
Saturday’s game kicks off at noon ET on Fox from Michigan Stadium.