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Is Vegas Picking Michigan Football To Beat Ohio State?

Is Las Vegas picking No. 3 Michigan football to beat No. 2 Ohio State and advance to the Big Ten title game?



Michigan football, Ohio State, Big Ten title, Jim Harbaugh
Nov 18, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) attempts a pass against the Maryland Terrapins during the second half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Even without Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, No. 3 Michigan football (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) will face No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0) next weekend at the Big House with a shot at the Big Ten title game on the line. Yesterday, the Wolverines won an ugly one against Maryland; however, has that hurt how Las Vegas sees the Maize and Blue? Well, for the time being, that’s not the case.

Michigan football, Ohio State still perfect heading into ‘The Game’

Ohio State beat Minnesota, Michigan football squeaked past Maryland, and once again, the two Big Ten Blue-Bloods will face off with perfect records ranked in the top 3. The last time this happened was last year, when the Wolverines and Buckeyes met with 11-0 records and ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively — a game that Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines won by 22 points.

This fall, the story remains the same as it has for the better part of the past decade. Whoever wins this game will advance to the Big Ten title game and likely the College Football Playoff, while the loser will see action in a regular New Year’s Six Bowl game.

Does Las Vegas like Michigan’s odds against the No. 2 Buckeyes next weekend?

Jim Harbaugh is gone, and Michigan football just played its worst game of the 2023 season; however, Las Vegas still likes Michigan’s odds to down the No. 2 Buckeyes in Ann Arbor in just six days. Right now, Michigan is favored by 5.5 points on FanDuel and 6.0 points on DraftKings, per Vegas Insider.

Reasons for concern should not be overblown

Now, some will — rightfully — point out that Michigan just played a poor game against Maryland. In fact, I did so on Saturday when I outlined the game’s pros and cons for the Wolverines. Yet, if you remember back to last year, Michigan football marched into Columbus and beat Ohio State 45-23 right off the heels of barely squeaking past a poor Illinois team.

Actually, last year’s Illinois game, which Michigan won 19-17 off a game-winning field goal from Jake Moody, was a much uglier win for the Maize and Blue, especially since it was in the Big House, and since Michigan lost Blake Corum with a knee injury before halftime.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Ohio State is elite, Michigan football is missing key pieces like Jim Harbaugh and Chris Partridge, there is a lot of outside noise, and — most importantly — the Wolverines must play better against the Buckeyes than they did against the Terrapins.

With that said, Vegas likes Michigan’s odds here and has the 3rd-ranked Wolverines favored by just under a touchdown in The Game’s initial betting spread. If U-M wins, it will face Iowa in the Big Ten title game, seeing as the Hawkeyes clinched the Big Ten West Division with a win over Illinois on Saturday.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.