The Big Ten has two College Football Playoff contenders, and they face off in one of the most anticipated games of the season. Ohio State will host the Michigan Wolverines, for what is easily one of the three biggest rivalries in college football, and this will be one of the most intriguing matchups between the teams.
Both the Wolverines and Buckeyes are undefeated heading into this matchup, which has not happened since 2006. This year, more than a division title is on the line.
The winner of this game will be one win away from making the College Football Playoff. The loser will be waiting at home and hoping to squeak its way in after the conference championships.
What can we expect in this game? Let’s break down the significance of this matchup and predict what will happen on Saturday.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Ohio Stadium
Both Teams Bouncing Back
Last week, both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines struggled against inferior opponents. Michigan needed late-game heroics to beat Illinois. Maryland had a lead for a while against Ohio State, but Stroud and the Buckeyes pulled away in the second half. Neither team looked to be playing its best ball.
Those were easily trap games, but the fact remains that both teams showed that it takes more than stepping onto the field to win in the Big Ten. If either team even plays a quarter’s worth of play like they did last week, they will lose.
The good news is that the rivalry aspect of this game makes it nearly impossible that either team will play slow. This game is more eventful than any on the college football odds board, so expect some magic from both teams.
Revenge for the Buckeyes?
Last year, Ohio State needed a win to keep its CFP hopes alive. The Buckeyes went on the road to play Michigan, and the team looked bad from the first snap to the last. It was the first time Jim Harbaugh had beaten the Buckeyes as a coach, and it vaulted Michigan into the Playoff.
This year, things look to be different. Michigan has played well, but many key stars from last year’s roster are now on NFL teams. Also, Ohio State plays at home with more confidence.
Many key players from last year’s team are still playing for Ohio State, including Stroud. They will be looking to get the bad taste of losing out of their mouth.
Can Both Teams Make the College Football Playoff?
If the season ended today, both teams would be in the College Football Playoff. However, you would have to think that the loser of this game would dip in the rankings after a loss. Now, who would take their place?
TCU will be in the top 3 if they go undefeated. If LSU beats Georgia, the SEC will get two teams in. USC could easily make it in if they win out, and don’t count out the Clemson Tigers.
The loser of this game needs to root for Georgia, Iowa State, and Notre Dame. If those teams win, then the Big Ten could easily see two teams make the College Football Playoff. If not, the loser of this game will be left out of the postseason playoff.
Ohio State has looked better this year, and CJ Stroud has played like one of the best players in college football. He will be the best player in this game, and he will be playing this game at home.
Beating Ohio State last year will give Michigan confidence, but will this be enough? I don’t think so. Ohio State has better weapons, and they are playing better football at this stage in the year. Michigan hasn’t been tested by an equal opponent, which is why I have the Buckeyes covering this spread.
Just because this is a rivalry game that could see some craziness, give me the over as well. I don’t see the Wolverines, stopping Ohio State’s offense. This will be Stroud’s Heisman moment as Ohio State covers the spread and wins the Big Ten East.
NCAAF Pick: Ohio State -8.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
NCAAF Pick: Over 57 (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook