Who’s Going To Win More Games—Ohio State Or Michigan?

by Travis Pulver
September 4th 2019, 11:26am

Few things can get the blood boiling of the average college football fan quite like the mere mention of their hated rival’s name.

Few rivalries come close to generating intense emotions quite like the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.

The two will battle for bragging rights in their annual rivalry game at the conclusion of the regular season. But fans that do not want to wait to see the two face off do not have to.

They just need to go to PointsBet.com and put a little money down on the following wager:

  • Michigan to win more games than Ohio State -115
  • Ohio State to win more games than Michigan -105

According to the odds, this one could go either way. The odds give Michigan a 53.49 percent chance of coming out on top. But Ohio State has a 51.22 percent chance.

While such odds tell us that ‘The Game’ could be a great one this year, they don’t help figure out who to bet on.

Both teams are coming off wins in Week One over teams best described as ‘soft’ and easily won. However, while each played well overall, neither put on a great show.

But was it because they played down to the competition, they were working out kinks, or are they not that good?

Michigan Wolverines

Last week, against Middle Tennessee, the Michigan offense looked—good. They generated over 400 yards of offense, ran for more yards (233) than they passed for (220), and looked good, but not great.

Shea Patterson looked a lot better than he did at the start of last season and did have a good day despite the run game being more productive (17-29 for 220 yards and three touchdowns).

But against a group of five teams like the Blue Raiders (who were 8-6 last season), it would have been nice to have seen a more dominant win. If the defense is going to let them generate over 300 yards of offense and scored three touchdowns, they are going to be in trouble once Big Ten play starts.

 It was just the first game, and they are working a lot of new guys in on defense. It was also the first game with new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. What they showed last Saturday was enough to say they are a good team that deserves to be in the top ten (No. 7in the AP).

However, if they are going to stay there, they will need to improve on both sides of the ball.

Ohio State Buckeyes

It is the dawn of a new era for the Buckeyes this season with a new and relatively unknown head coach in Ryan Day and a new starting quarterback in Justin Fields. Fields, a transfer from Georgia, brought some buzz with him when he made the switch even though he had yet to start a game in college.

But he was a highly recruited high school QB and for a team without a set starter-- he was just what was needed.

In his first start last weekend, he guided a rebuilt offense to over 400 yards with seven scoring drives in a 45-21 win.

Like Michigan, the Buckeyes ran (237 yards) for more than they passed (232 yards) with Fields contributing in both aspects (18-25 for 232 yards and four touchdowns; 12 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown).

It was a good performance, but also like Michigan, it wasn’t as dominant as you’d like it to be over a small school like Florida Atlantic. Defensively, they did a good job of holding the Owls to just 22 net yards on the ground and just over 200 in the passing game.

But much of it came in the fourth quarter with the game already well in hand.  

They appear to be in good shape, but it will be interesting to see how the defense plays against a better offense. Field and the offense will have to improve by the time Big Ten play starts if they are going to remain a top-five team.

Our Betting Prediction

Michigan currently has six ranked teams on their schedule—Wisconsin (17), Iowa (20), Penn State (15), Notre Dame (8), Michigan State (19), and Ohio State (5). How will things play out?

  • Best case scenario, they go 5-1
  • Most likely scenario—4-2 with losses to either Ohio State, Penn State, and/or Notre Dame.
  • Worst case—3-3 with losses to all three.

Ohio State currently has five ranked teams on their schedule—Nebraska (25), Michigan (19), Wisconsin (17), Penn State (15), and Michigan (7). How will things play out?

  • Best case scenario, they go 5-0.
  • Most likely scenario—4-1 with losses to either Michigan and/or Penn State.
  • Worst case—3-2 with losses to both.

Michigan could finish the season anywhere from 9-3 to 11-1. Ohio State is looking like a 10-2, 11-1, or 12-0 team. So, how should you bet? Because Michigan has a tougher schedule, go with Ohio State to win more games than Michigan (-105).