Ohio State Football Opens as Underdog For First Time Since 2015
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been one of the premier programs in college football for decades. The Buckeyes have won 8 national championships in their illustrious history, the most recent of which came in 2014 under head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer effectively brought the program back to prominence following a few down years, and they have been in the national title hunt for most of his tenure to this point.
However, this has been an unusual season for the Buckeyes. Meyer’s team is still 10-1 through its first 11 games, but they haven’t breezed their way through the schedule as many expected. The team lost in humiliating fashion at the hands of lowly Purdue a few weeks ago, and the results since then haven’t exactly been awe-inspiring. The Buckeyes needed a dramatic comeback and overtime to get past Maryland this past week by the score of 52-51.
Now, Ohio State will face arguably its toughest test of the campaign when rivals Michigan come to Columbus a couple of days after Thanksgiving. And, for the first time in years, Ohio State will not enter the game as betting favorites.
Ohio State opened as a 3.5-point underdog against Michigan, marking the first time in 51 games that Ohio State will likely not enter a game as the odds-on betting favorites to win. Caesars Palace in Las Vegas tapped the Wolverines as the early favorites. The last time the Buckeyes entered a game as underdogs was the title game of the 2015 College Football Playoff. Oregon was 6.5-point favorites in that one, but Ohio State went on to win the game fairly easily, 42-20.
The winner of the game will decide which team goes to the Big Ten Championship Game out of the East division. This will be the first time that Michigan is favored over Ohio State since their 2011 meeting when the Wolverines picked up a 40-34 win after entering the game as 8-point favorites. That is also the last time Michigan beat Ohio State.
Ohio State has taken 13 of the past 14 meetings in the series, with the Wolverines’ most recent win in Columbus coming way back in the year 2000. This will be the seventh time Ohio State will enter a game as underdogs since Meyer became head coach in 2012. The Buckeyes won the previous 6 games as underdogs outright. Meyer has not been a home underdog as a head coach since he was the head man at the University of Utah way back in 2003.
If Ohio State’s streak comes to an end, the Alabama Crimson Tide will take over as the team with the longest streak of entering a game as betting favorites. The Tide are listed as 24-point favorites to beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl this week, which will mark the 51st straight game for Saban’s team as the favorite. Alabama has been favored in an unbelievable 123 of their last 124 games overall. The last time the Tide were underdogs was for a game on the road at Georgia back in 2015. The Tide would go on to rout the Bulldogs that day, 38-10.
Ohio State is ranked 10th in the nation, while Michigan is 4th. Jim Harbaugh’s squad has reeled off 10 consecutive wins following a season-opening defeat at the hands of Notre Dame. Last week’s 31-20 win over Indiana marked the first time in 4 weeks that the Wolverines allowed their opponent to score more than 10 points. Michigan beat Michigan State, Penn State and Rutgers by a combined score of 105-21.
Michigan and Ohio State will kick things off from Ohio Stadium in Columbus at 12:00pm Eastern on Saturday, November 24.
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