MetroBet previews two key Saturday college football games during Thanksgiving weekend.
Michigan Wolverines (-4.5) at Ohio State Buckeyes
Moneyline: Wolverines -190, Buckeyes +165
Betting Total: 56.5 points
It’s been a scandal-plagued season for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who find themselves underdogs as they play host to undefeated Michigan on Saturday (Noon, FOX). Although this classic college football rivalry has been fairly one-sided of late (the Buckeyes have won nine of the last 10 meetings and are 3-0 against Jim Harbaugh), it’s apparent that the pendulum is swinging toward the Wolverines for this year’s rendition.
Dwayne Haskins Jr. has led an outstanding Ohio State aerial attack (third in the nation), but he’ll face his toughest assignment to date in Michigan’s top-rated pass stoppers. The Wolverines are also sixth in points per game allowed and second in yards per play allowed.
The Buckeyes’ defense has looked shaky at times this year, letting up 49 in their lone loss to Purdue and 51 last week in a too-close-for-comfort victory over Maryland. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson’s passing attack has been decent, but halfback Karan Higdon (5.3 yards per carry on 209 attempts) has been hard to stop.
Ohio State’s 1-6 record against the spread in their last seven games makes them impossible to trust this Saturday; lay the points with the Wolverines.
Prediction: Michigan wins, 38-24
The play: Michigan -4.5
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-11) at USC Trojans
Moneyline: Irish -430, Trojans +345
Betting Total: 54 points
Notre Dame and USC have played many memorable games over the years, but Trojan fans will probably look to forget this one (and this entire season for that matter) entirely (8 p.m., ABC). USC is currently 5-6 (3-8 against the spread), and a loss would doom their bowl chances and probably get coach Clay Helton fired, if the decision hasn’t been made already.
The Irish have the advantage in just about every department. Ian Book should be able to pick apart the Trojans’ 49th-ranked pass stoppers. Dexter Williams ought to be productive on the ground against USC’s 69th-rated rush defense. On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame’s 15th-rated defense by points per game (eighth by yards per play) should suffocate USC’s offense, which is 83rd in the nation is scoring.
The Trojans have struggled in the Coliseum of late, failing to cover in six of their last seven opportunities. The Irish have made a habit of hammering inferior opponents, winning by an average of 16.25 points over their last 12 games. This one shouldn’t be close.
Prediction: Notre Dame wins, 34-17
The play: Notre Dame -11