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Game Prediction: No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 5 Michigan Wolverines

It's the biggest rivalry in all of sports. Here's how our staff thinks things will shake out between the Buckeyes and Wolverines.

The Ohio State-Michigan game is always fun, but with elevated stakes this year and after last year's game was cancelled because of CoVID-19, the hype around The Game this year is off the charts. The winner goes to Indianapolis for a Big Ten Championship and is in the driver's seat for the College Football Playoffs.

Ohio State has beaten Michigan eight consecutive times and has prevailed in 17 of the last 19 meetings since 2001. Jim Harbaugh has never beaten the Buckeyes, while Ryan Day hasn't lost a single Big Ten game in three years.

Here's what our BuckeyesNow staff is expecting this weekend at the Big House.

OHIO STATE at MICHIGAN Saturday, 12:00 p.m.
Spread: Ohio State (-7.0)
O/U Total: 64.5

Brendan Gulick: Ohio State 45, Michigan 24

I feel like this is actually a conservative final score pick. My heart is telling me the Buckeyes are going to hang 50+ on Michigan for a third straight time, but my head says the Wolverines are going to try and establish the run, control some of the clock and keep the Buckeyes offense off the field. I think it's unlikely that Ohio State comes up with a defensive touchdown, given how well they've protected the football this season.

The Buckeyes win decisively, keep their hopes alive for a College Football Playoff berth and they'll play for the Big Ten championship in Indianapolis next weekend.

Andrew Lind: Ohio State 52 , Michigan 17

While Michigan’s defense is a step up in competition, I expect this game to play out very similarly to Ohio State’s blowout win over Michigan State last weekend.

The Buckeyes’ offense is firing on all cylinders, so the Wolverines won’t be able to keep up. And the defense will be able to limit Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins to season-lows on the ground, just like Kenneth Walker III. 

Game Preview: Ohio State, Michigan Look To Clinch Berth In Big Ten Championship Game

Caleb Spinner: Ohio State 31, Michigan 24

So much has been built up about this game that it has become more than just “The Game” (if you can believe a higher level than it already is). We’ve seen how dominant a team the Buckeyes are, having erased all doubt from their shaky performance in the first few weeks of the season with win after win, regardless of their opponent.

However, Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines are playing not only for bragging rights, but also for both a shot at their first Big Ten championship and a (probably) guaranteed spot in the College Football Playoff. 

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This ultimately comes down to one question: will the incentive of a shot at the conference title and CFP be enough to push Michigan over the rolling Buckeyes? My answer: no. Ohio State is peaking at the right time with a now-confident C.J. Stroud and numerous options through the air and on the ground to give fits to Michigan’s defense. Ohio State wins, 31-24.

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