Although Michigan fans feel like Jim Harbaugh’s club should be entering this game undefeated. The program has an opportunity to get over the crushing loss suffered in East Lansing against Michigan State a few short weeks ago and wash the bad taste out of their mouth.
This is a massive game for head coach Harbaugh. Michigan football has never beaten Ohio State with Harbaugh at the helm going 0-5. Historically, the wheels have fallen off Michigan under the watchful eye of Harbaugh in November and beyond during his tenure.
The Harbaugh version of the Wolverines is also 3-4 against Michigan State, 0-2 vs. Mel Tucker, and 1-4 in Bowl games.
Is this the year Michigan football finally upsets Ohio State?
Head coach Ryan Day’s Buckeyes are riding into Ann Arbor after an impressive 56-7 victory over Michigan State a week ago. Michigan, likewise, beat up on Maryland to the tune of 56-18.
The Buckeyes offense is ranked as the top unit in the country, averaging 47.2 points per game, and is led by freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud has accumulated 3,468 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and five interceptions this season. It doesn’t hurt to have a trio of future NFL wide receivers at your disposal, either.
Chris Olave leads the group with 13 touchdowns and has corralled 58 balls totaling 848 yards. Jaxon Smith-Njigba leads the team in receiving yards with 1,132 on 69 grabs and six touchdowns. And finally, Garrett Wilson has hauled in 60 balls for 939 and 11 scores. It’s a dynamic trio that has the potential to wreck this game for Michigan. The Buckeyes also have a stellar running game behind TreVeyon Henderson, averaging 7.3 yards per carry on the season, totaling 1,098 yards and 14 touchdowns on 150 totes.
Michigan football will rely profoundly on their elite pass-rush as they hope to slow Ohio State’s high octane offense.
Aidan Hutchinson is projected to be a top-ten pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Let’s not forget, Hutchinson had the opportunity to leave Michigan after last season but opted to return, stating there had been unfinished business to tend to. Well, today is that unfinished business.
Hutchinson’s nine sacks rank second on the Wolverines to David Ojabo, who’s accumulated ten. Ojabo plays opposite Hutchinson and usually sees single blocking as offenses tend to focus on doubling up Hutchinson.
In recent weeks, DJ Turner has emerged as the Wolverines’ top corner and will have his work cut out for him Saturday for reasons stated a bit earlier. Daxton Hill is expected to be a second-round safety and plays with some tenacity; he will need to have the game of his life Saturday and hopefully be the recipient of a wild throw or two due to Michigan’s elite pass-rush.
Although Cade McNamara has played exceptionally better throughout the second half of the season than he did over the first few weeks, he’s still a game manager. McNamara won’t win this game for Michigan football; the hope is he doesn’t lose it.
The weather is expected to be cold and snowy, which plays into Michigan’s hand. The Wolverines love to ground and pound the football behind Hassan Haskins, who has amassed 1,063 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Then it’s Blake Corum, who has been battling injuries, but when healthy is a force both running the football and catching it. Corum has totaled 778 yards on 130 carries and ten scores,
Also, keep your eye on freshman running back Donovan Edwards. Edwards is a highly skilled back with tremendous catching ability. Last week against Maryland, Edwards made ten receptions totaling 170 yards and a score. Expect to see Edwards involved a lot Saturday.
Michigan football betting odds, spread, and prediction.
WynnBET has the Buckeyes as 7.5 point favorites, which has moved down from 8.5, meaning there are plenty of folks betting on Michigan. The Moneyline is -320 to Ohio State, and +260 to Michigan with the Under/Over set at 64.5.
This may be Harbaugh’s best opportunity to beat Ohio State. The Wolverines, who often fade as the season wears on, have not. Although they suffered a second-half meltdown against Michigan State, things may have been different if that game hadn’t been on the road. Michigan seems to do everything well, not elite, but well, and they draw the Buckeyes at home, perhaps in the snow.
When it comes to betting, I will be taking the Wolverines to cover the 7.5, but I will steer clear of the Moneyline. This game has the makings of being a lot closer than people think. Even considering the weather conditions, I am taking the Over in this one.
I am projecting a final score of 35-31 Ohio State. Sorry, they just don’t lose Big Ten games. I will be rooting for Michigan with all my might; furthermore, I would love to have this prediction incorrect. Go Blue.