College Football Picks: Stout Defenses Prompt Going 'Under' 45 in Ohio State/Michigan

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 12:09 AM GMT

We’re going to examine Saturday’s huge Big Ten contest between Ohio State and Michigan. Go inside to read our betting preview article that concludes with a college football pick on the total.

Buckeyes and Wolverines Renew Acquaintances
One of the more storied rivalries in college football takes place on Saturday when Michigan hosts Ohio State. The opening kickoff at “The Big House” in Ann Arbor is slated for 12:00 PM ET. Current (11/24) college football odds at The Greek has Michigan as a 1.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 45.0. Ohio State won last season’s meeting 42-28 in Columbus but failed to cover as a 21.0 point favorite. The Buckeyes have won each of the last three, and ten of the previous eleven games played in this annual head to head series.

 

Defenses Rule the Roost
These are two of the top defensive units in the country. Ohio State ranks second nationally in scoring defense at 14.1 points per game, and Michigan is sixth allowing just 14.9 points per contest. The Wolverines are second in total defense, allowing a mere 263.1 yards per contest, and Ohio State is eighth at 298.0 yards per outing.

Ohio State has gone under the total in nine of eleven games this season, and that includes each of their previous five. Michigan has limited seven of eleven opponents in 2015 to 16 points or less, and held them scoreless on three separate occasions. It must be noted, they went under the total in each of their first six games, but all of its last five have surpassed the number.

 

College Football Betting Angle
Ohio State was outgained by 262 total yards in a 17-14 loss to Michigan State in their previous game. Michigan had 136 more yards of total offense than Penn State during a 28-16 Wolverines win last Saturday.

Any team (Ohio State) with a total of 42.5 to 49.0, coming off a game in which they were outgained by 225 yards or more, versus an opponent (Michigan) that had 125 yards or more of total offense than their previous opponent, resulted in those games going 61-22 (73.5%) under the total during the past 10 seasons.

 

Final Analysis and Pick
This has all the earmarks of a low scoring and down to the wire contest in my eyes. There has been a lot of early money which has been wagered on going under the total. In my professional experience, the general public seldom favors going under the number, let alone this early in the process. I have an early lead toward this game going under the total for one of my college football picks this week.

College Football Picks: Play on under the total of 45 at The Greek

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