Michigan vs. Ohio State prediction: College football odds, picks

The stakes are always high, but this year’s historic rivalry clash between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan feels even loftier.

Just like last season, both programs will come to blows with perfect records while playing for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game.

Michigan hasn’t lost a conference game in 24 contests — one of those ending Ohio State’s 21-game run in the last go-around, which was the longest all-time streak in conference history.

Saturday’s meeting features the only two defenses in the nation allowing under 10 points per game, which is why both of them have massive average scoring margins.

The handful that Maryland gave to Michigan last week gave the market pause. J.J. McCarthy threw for just 141 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

In fact, since Sherrone Moore took over at the helm following Jim Harbaugh’s suspension, McCarthy has gone 19-for-31 and touchdown-less through two games.

It’s all been the Blake Corum show. The senior scat back has accounted for 239 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns since Harbaugh’s absence.

He now leads college football in rushing scores with 20 on the season.

Though Corum has been Michigan’s bread and butter all season, it’s evident that Moore is reverting to this conventional, abandon-the-pass offensive scheme.

Acting head coach Sherrone Moore of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with Blake Corum.
Getty Images

Corum hit a season-high 145 yards on 26 carries against Penn State’s stingy front, so you can expect more of the same against a Buckeyes unit yielding 3.3 yards per attempt.

Ohio State has a similar offensive headliner in Kyle McCord’s connection with Marvin Harrison Jr.

The two have had the best quarterback-receiver chemistry in college football averaging 99.3 yards for a total of 13 scores.

Harrison Jr. was used sparingly in the 37-3 annihilation against Minnesota with only three catches for 30 yards, but you can speculate he was being preserved for Michigan.

Betting on College Football?

The projected NFL WR1 talent is bound to see his fair share of looks from McCord on Saturday; he’ll just have to do it against a ruthless Michigan blitz that allows 25.3 pass attempts for 13.6 completions.

Neither team is high on the list in explosive plays that exceed 20 yards; both average roughly five of them against mediocre strength of schedules.

There should be a lot of flirting in the early stages of this game as both offenses feel out the opposing unforgiving secondaries.

Given those conservative approaches and the razor-thin margin for error, this should make “The Game” out to be another exhausting wrestling match on Saturday.

The play: Under 46.5.

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