The Ohio State Buckeyes (-13) have dominated the Wisconsin Badgers in recent meetings (9-1 straight-up, 8-2 against the spread last 10 meetings), and bettors should expect that trend to continue at Ohio Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Buckeyes are fresh off one of their most dominant performances of the season, as they crushed Northwestern 52-3 at Ryan Field on Friday night. Quarterback Justin Fields was 18-of-23 passing for 194 yards and four TDs, which boosted his season total to 22. Fields has tossed just one INT. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague combined for 217 yards and two TDs. This offensive unit, fifth by yards per game, has the all-important benefit of facing the nation’s No. 1 defense in the country at home.
Ohio State’s stoppers, second in the country by yards per game, are not too shabby themselves. They have the much more enviable task of the two defenses of limiting a Wisconsin offense that is highly reliant on tailback Johnathan Taylor. Sooner or later, quarterback Jack Coan (76 percent completion rate, 8.3 yards per attempt, 9-2 TD-INT ratio) will have to make the big throws downfield, and he has not demonstrated the ability to do that with the game on the line in his collegiate career.
The play: Ohio State spread
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Wolverines (-6.5)
The Michigan Wolverines just lost to Penn State last week and will now catch the Notre Dame Fighting Irish off a bye in Ann Arbor on Saturday night. Back-to-back losses appear to be in store for the Wolverines.
The Irish’s offense is 15th in scoring and 13th in yards per play this season. Quarterback Ian Book has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes over his last three games for 7.67 yards per attempt with a 6-0 TD-INT ratio. Halfback Tony Jones Jr. has been beastly in that span too, rushing for over 136 yards per contest with three TDs (40 carries). Michigan is a respectable 14th in total defense this season but this unit is not as solid as in years past.
The Wolverines offense has not taken the step forward they needed to this year. Quarterback Shea Patterson is completing just 57.4 percent of his passes for 7.5 yards per attempt with a mediocre 9-4 TD-INT ratio. Zach Charbonnet can only do so much out of the backfield.
Notre Dame is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games while Michigan has failed to cover in eight of their last 11 contests.
The play: Notre Dame spread