The Michigan State Spartans visit the Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 11.
After opening as 30.5-point favorites, the third-ranked Buckeyes are up to -31.5 (-110) on the latest NCAA football live lines. Michigan State, meanwhile, is +31.5 (-110). The projected total is 47.5 (-110 Over, -110 Under), up a tick from 46.5.
Can the Buckeyes take care of business at home? Read on as we break down both college football teams and assess the odds in our Michigan State vs Ohio State betting preview.
Location: Ohio Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
The Michigan State Spartans are 4-4-1 against the spread, including 1-1-1 on the road. The total has gone Over in four of the Spartans’ five games. Conversely, the Ohio State Buckeyes are 4-3-2 ATS, including 3-1 at home. The total has gone Under in five of the Buckeyes’ last six NCAAF games. That’s important to remember when assessing the Michigan State vs Ohio State betting preview.
NCAA Title or Bust for Buckeyes
The Ohio State Buckeyes remain on the short list of national championship contenders. While they’re No. 3 in the AP Top 25 poll, the Buckeyes sit atop the College Football Playoff rankings for a second consecutive week.
Ohio State got off to a slow start last week against Rutgers before turning it on, overcoming a 9-7 halftime deficit en route to a 35-16 victory. A 19-point favorite, it settled for a push. But more importantly, the Buckeyes moved to 9-0 (6-0 Big Ten) straight up.
Oddsmakers are understandably bullish on the Buckeyes, pricing them +160 for the Big Ten championship — Michigan is a -120 favorite — and +700 to win the NCAA title. That’s the fourth best college football odds on the board behind Michigan (+230), Georgia (+250) and Florida State (+600).
Marvin Harrison Jr. — the son of NFL Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison — remains a focal point for the Buckeyes. He’s surpassed 100 yards receiving in four of the last five games and six times overall. Harrison Jr. has also scored at least one touchdown in five straight contests. Accordingly, he owns the best Heisman Trophy odds of any non-quarterback at +1600.
Notably, Ohio State is 32nd nationally in scoring, averaging 32.8 points per game on the college football schedule. The Buckeyes have surpassed 30 points in three of the last five contests. Keep that in mind when analyzing the odds in our Michigan State vs Ohio State betting preview.
Spartans Keep Sputtering
The Michigan State Spartans ended their six-game losing skid last week, upsetting Nebraska 20-17. A 3-point underdog, Michigan State opened 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and held on late, improving its record to 3-6. Notably, it was the Spartans’ first win since firing head coach Mel Tucker.
Projected for 4.5 wins, the Spartans remain unlikely to match or even surpass expectations. They need to win two of their final three games to cash in. With No. 9 Penn State also still on the schedule, Michigan State faces a daunting remaining stretch.
Michigan State is also all but certain to miss out on a bowl for the second straight season. The Spartans’ last bowl appearance came in the 2021 Peach Bowl, where they beat Pittsburgh 31-21.
The Spartans’ issues have been wide-ranging. Offense is among the biggest problems. The Spartans have scored 20 or fewer points in three straight games. They’re 121st nationally in scoring (18.2 PPG), ranking second to last among Power Five programs. Only Arizona State (17.8) has been worse. That doesn’t bode well against the Buckeyes’ fifth-ranked defense (271.1 yards allowed per game).
Handicapping the Game
This is a complete mismatch. There’s no way around it. Ohio State is a legitimate national championship contender. Michigan State, on the other hand, is a dysfunctional mess.
Unsurprisingly, the spread is large — maybe too large for the appetite of some bettors. While the Buckeyes will coast outright, Michigan State should — again, should — be able to keep this within 30 points.
If that number’s still too large to stomach, consider Under 47.5 points. The Buckeyes have gone Under the total in seven of their nine games.