Pick Ohio State -20 Over Michigan for Week 14 College Football

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 2:07 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 2:07 PM GMT

Ohio State is still in the picture in the first-ever FCS Playoff, and a blowout here at Home in Columbus over longtime rival Michigan would help the Buckeyes cause. Laying the points seems like the pick.

Odds Overview
Michigan at #7 Ohio State (Ohio State -20, Pinnacle), Saturday 17:00 (ABC, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT): The Ohio State University Buckeyes (10-1 SU, 7-4 ATS, 7-0 Conference) are ranked #7 by AP and are definitely still in the conversation to be one of the four teams in the first-ever FCS Playoff debuting this season. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook’s 2014 Games of the Year, released mid-summer, opened Ohio State up as 18½-point Favorites over Michigan, so, not much has changed in five months in terms of line perceptions or what we’ve learned about what we thought we knew about these two teams preseason. The Moneyline (Winner) college football odds here have Ohio State as prohibitive -1200 Favorites (William Hill) with Underdog and visitors Michigan at priced at +750.

 

Michigan Wolverines
Heading into this, the last regular season game of the season, the Wolverines leading rusher (De’Veon Smith) has just 515 yards while Michigan’s leading receiver (Devin Funchess) has only 625 yards and 4 TDs. To get a little perspective on those pretty weak numbers, remember that #14 Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon rushed for 408 yards (and 4 TDs) in just 3 quarters against Nebraska earlier this month. And Michigan QB Devin Gardner’s (152 completions, 1,663 yards, 8 TDs) numbers reveal the story of a team without a solid Passing attack—the Wolverines rank a Kleenex-worthy 116th in Passing (162.8 yards)—and are #63 Rushing. Put all that together and you have a team that is almost inept on offense (114th in Points Scored with 20.3 ppg) and one that almost has to play great defense in order not to be a laughing stock in relationship to the great college football reputation Big Blue has worked so hard to achieve throughout the years. In a game that could be compared to one like this, Michigan was flattened by its’ other big rival, then-#8 Michigan State, 35-11 as 17-Point Underdogs so, somebody may be in for a little spanking in Columbus this weekend and it most likely won’t be the hosts.

 

The Ohio State University Buckeyes
Head coach Urban Meyer (19-16-1 ATS) will have his team foaming at the mouth for this one as it’s almost like a playoff game his team needs to dominate and then hope that other teams slip up down the homestretch—and some will—in order to just be considered for a real playoff game if the Buckeyes can somehow slip into that likely 4th spot in the Final 4. But who knows. This team can get up-and-down the field when needed, and it will certainly be needed on Saturday against a Michigan squad which at least plays decent defense (#21 in nation, allowing 20.6 ppg). Ohio State is led by electric and somewhat underrated QB JT Barrett (190 completions, 2,658 yards, 33 TDs) who is also the Buckeyes’ second-leading rusher with 156 carries for 849 yards and 9 TDs. RB Ezekiel Elliott (180 rushes, 1,061 yards, 8 TDs) is Ohio State’s leading rusher and gives the Buckeyes the kind of offensive balance most teams can only dream of. And QB Barrett has a number of very talented and quick guys to throw the ball to including Devin Smith (25 receptions, 610 yards, 8 TDs), Michael Thoma (37 receptions, 605 yards, 8 TDs) and Jalin Marshall (24 receptions, 347 yards, 6 TDs), among many others. This team is loaded.

Ohio State ranks 49th in Passing, 14th in Rushing and are a very impressive 5th in the nation in Scoring (44.3 ppg). And the Buckeyes also play pretty good defense where they rank #30, allowing just 22.5 ppg. In all honesty, this Ohio State team would probably only have beat Michigan here to make this first-ever College Football Playoff system if it hadn’t sadly lost to Virginia Tech here at Home in Week 2, 35-21. Oh well. Every game matters now.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
This one could be high-scoring for a couple of reasons. Ohio State has played 9 Overs in its L10 games (5-0 Over L5 at Home) and the Buckeyes are in a new and unique position where they will be judged by how badly they beat their old rivals Michigan—if they do—meaning Ohio State will need to really try and run up the score for perceived Style Points (The weather forecast calls for a High temperature of 52° in Columbus on Sunday with a 40% chance of Rain). And the Buckeyes are the 5th-best Scoring team in the nation (44.3 ppg) and have figured out how to get the ball in the end zone and will probably be more than willing and likely to shove about 5 to 7 TDs down Michigan’s throat, a team the Buckeyes have beaten in 9 of the L10 meetings. And many of the trends point to taking the homeboys and laying the lumber. Michigan is 3-7 ATS L10, 1-4 ATS L5 on the Road, 1-5 ATS in its L6 on the Road at Ohio State and the Wolverines are 1-6 ATS overall L7 vs. the Buckeyes. When making your college football picks take note that this baby has blowout written all over it and it will be up to Michigan and maybe Mother Nature to possibly try to create an environment where this hungry Ohio State doesn’t end up scoring 14 points every quarter to please the judges, if you will.

College Football Pick: Ohio State -20 (Pinnacle)

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