The Ohio State Buckeyes host the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday, November 21 in the game that everyone has been waiting for in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes beat the Spartans 49-37 on the road last year as 3.5-underdogs en route to winning the National Championship.
Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) earned a 28-3 road win at Illinois last week behind arguably its best defensive performance of the year. J.T. Barrett returned from his one-game suspension to throw for 150 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 74 yards and a score.
Michigan State (9-1, 5-1 Big Ten) rebounded from its tough loss at Nebraska with a 24-7 home win over Maryland last week. The Spartans shut out the Terrapins for the final three quarters and took advantage of five turnovers forced by the defense.
Kickoff inside Ohio Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 EST Saturday afternoon with ABC providing the television coverage. If you are looking to bet on this game, you’ll find Ohio State as a 13-point favorite over Michigan State with a total set of 52.5 points.
The Buckeyes have certainly been coasting for much of the season, but the fact of the matter is they are 10-0 and in perfect position to make the four-team playoff again. They have been better since J.T. Barrett took over at starting quarterback, beating Rutgers 49-7 and Illinois 28-3 both on the road, outscoring those teams a combined 77-10 in the two games he’s started.
Ohio State is outscoring opponents by an average of 22.6 points per game and outgaining them by 155.2 yards per game. All 10 wins have come by a touchdown or more, including eight by 14 points or more, and they’ve outgained all 10 of their opponents. The defense is playing particularly well, giving up just 13.8 points and 298.4 yards per game against opponents that average 27.1 points and 387 yards per game. The offense is only going to continue to get better with Barrett under center.
The Spartans have been outgained in five of their 10 games this season.
If any team is a fraud, it’s certainly Michigan State. It has survived so many close wins this season in which it was outplayed and outgained. In fact, the Spartans have been outgained in five of their 10 games this season. They were outgained by Oregon, Air Force, Central Michigan, Nebraska and Maryland. Their good fortune finally ran out in a 38-39 loss to Nebraska two weeks ago. They also should have lost to Michigan on the road but got a miracle punt block return for a TD on the final play.
The Spartans were outgained by 27 yards at home to Maryland last week as they managed just 262 yards of total offense. They were fortunate to force five turnovers as that game was closer than the final of 24-7 would indicate. Plus, Connor Cook was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. He is expected to play this week, but it’s clear that Cook won’t be 100%, which gives the Spartans little to no chance of even keeping this game competitive.
Ohio State is 9-2 SU & 7-3-1 ATS in its last 13 meetings with Michigan State. It won 49-37 on the road last season and racked up 568 total yards. Barrett threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 86 yards and two scores in the win. Ezekiel Elliott added 154 rushing yards and two scores as well.
The Buckeyes are 6-0 ATS vs. good teams who outscore opponents by 10+ points per game over the last two seasons. Ohio State is 16-6 ATS in its last 22 home games as a favorite of 7.5 to 14 points. Michigan State is 2-9 ATS off a home win over the last two seasons.