Ohio State opens as biggest favorite over Michigan in decades

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) attempts a pass to wide receiver Demario McCall (30) during the fourth quarter of a NCAA Division I college football game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor Michigan [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Ohio State is a big favorite for Saturday’s scheduled game against Michigan.

It opened as a 30-point over the Wolverines, according to online sportsbook Circa Sports, a betting line that would make for the largest point spread in the rivalry since at least 1993.

The previous high during this span was in 2014 when the Buckeyes entered The Game as 21-point favorites.

The expected lopsidedness is largely the result of Michigan’s performance this fall. While the Buckeyes are 5-0 and among the contenders for the College Football Playoff, the Wolverines have fallen back in the Big Ten East, appearing to regress in their sixth season under coach Jim Harbaugh.

Holding a 2-4 record, Michigan is on pace for its first losing season since 2014, the year before Harbaugh’s arrival.

The matchup, though, remains in a somewhat tenuous status after Michigan halted organized team activities last week, including canceling its game against Maryland, due to rising coronavirus cases within the program.

The Associated Press reported 12 players on the team had tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking with reporters on Zoom following the Buckeyes’ 52-12 win at Michigan State, coach Ryan Day said he hadn’t received an update on the game against the Wolverines.

Kickoff remains scheduled for noon on Saturday on FOX.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman