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How and what to watch for No. 3 Ohio State vs. Michigan State

The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes have confirmed they will play the Michigan State Spartans, moving one step closer to Big Ten Championship eligibility.

Quarterback Justin Fields of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks with receiver Chris Olave of the Ohio State Buckeyes during a game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

After some serious concern that a COVID-19 outbreak would keep the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes from playing this week, the program confirmed that it would take the field for Saturday’s matchup with the Michigan State Spartans.

The game holds significant weight for the Buckeyes despite the lopsided nature of the matchup. With only four games played this season, they risk missing out on the Big Ten Championship Game should they lose another contest for any reason. That could also affect Ohio State’s ability to earn one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff despite their current ranking.

Meanwhile, Michigan State comes off its second major upset of the season, knocking off the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats last Saturday. Between that victory and an early one over the in-state rival Michigan Wolverines, the Spartans have started to form an identity under new head coach Mel Tucker.

Of course, these same Spartans also loss by double digits to Rutgers, Iowa, and Indiana and still need to make considerable improvement to the talent before they can do more than pull off the occasional surprise. Even so, considering the wild nature of the 2020 Big Ten season — one that almost didn’t happen — Michigan State fans should feel mostly positive about the program after a slow decline under Mark Dantonio.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Ohio State versus Michigan State on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC, or you can stream it via this link with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Ohio State (-24) vs. Michigan State
Point Total: 59.5
Money line: Ohio State (-2500) vs. Michigan State (+1100)

  • Since 2015, Ohio State has a 15-10-0 road record against the spread (all as the favorite).
  • Also since 2015, the Buckeyes have a 16-8-1 over record on the road (again, all as the favorite).
  • Since 2015, Michigan State has a 14-23-0 home record against the spread (5-5-0 as the home underdog.)
  • During the same stretch, the Spartans own a 15-23-0 over record at home (4-6-0 as the home favorite).

Betting splits

Ohio State: (86% of handle, 82% percent of bets)
Michigan State: (14% of handle, 18% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

As it pertains to the College Football Playoff, Ohio State needs to protect itself should it lose another game to the pandemic. Demolishing Michigan State would help.

Pick: Ohio State -24

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