Buckeyes open rivalry week as slight favorite in The Game
Special Offer
Ohio State Buckeyes

Breaking news. In-depth analysis. Ad-free.

7-Day Free TrialSubscribe Now

Buckeyes open rivalry week as slight favorite in The Game

Ohio State helmet by Birm -- Lettermen Row
Ohio State will be favored when it travels to Michigan for the rivalry game. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State didn’t waste any time turning its attention to its rival Saturday.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day even mentioned he was thinking ahead to Michigan while on the sideline in the second half of the blowout win over Michigan State.

With everything else this season behind them, the Buckeyes can devote their full attention to the Wolverines for the 117th time in program history.

Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor for The Game as a 6.5-point favorite, according to the VegasInsider consensus. The total is set at 66 points.

It’s the lowest spread of the season for the Buckeyes. But it’s also the biggest and most unique challenge, one that plenty of young playmakers on the Ohio State roster haven’t played in.

But the road rivalry moment shouldn’t be too big for the youth that is littered across the Buckeyes roster. They are recruited with the goal of beating Michigan in mind. And they prepare for The Game every day of the year.

“They know what this is going to be like,” star wide receiver Chris Olave said. “It’s 365 days that this happens at the facility, our hatred for them. We do that in offseason. I know they feel that.

“So it’s going to be the first game they played, but I know they know how big the moment is going to be. So I’m not too worried about it.”

With everything else this season out of the way, all eyes are fixed on The Game.

  • The Buckeyes are 7-4 against the number this season.
  • The losses came in the defeat to Oregon and the wins over Tulsa, Penn State and Nebraska.
  • The Buckeyes were double-digit favorites in their first 11 previous games this season.
  • The Buckeyes are 3-2 against the spread in their last five games against Michigan.
  • Michigan is 2-11 straight up in its last 13 games against top-10 teams.
  • Ohio State covered double-digit spreads in six of its past eight games.
  • The Buckeyes haven’t lost a Big Ten conference game straight up since 2018 when it lost to Purdue.
  • Michigan is 9-2 against the number this season.
  • The Wolverines are underdogs for just the second time this season. They are 1-0 straight up so far this season as an underdog, that win coming at Wisconsin.