Just days before their high-profile rivalry game, No. 2 Ohio State is a 7.5-point favorite over No. 3 Michigan.
Throughout the season, sportsbooks offer an advanced line on marquee games that generate wide betting interest. Each week, based on recent performances and other developments like injuries, oddsmakers adjust the odds.
"On a neutral field, we have this game around Ohio State as a 4.5-point favorite so we're giving the Buckeyes roughly an additional three-point advantage for playing this game in Columbus," Caesars Sportsbook lead college football trader Joey Feazel told ESPN. "The spread will depend heavily on (Blake) Corum's status throughout the week."
The junior running back left Saturday's game in the second quarter with a left knee injury and only returned for one carry in the second half. There is no official word on his status for Saturday but the Heisman hopeful is the third betting favorite (12-1 odds) and leads the Wolverines in rushing attempts (245), rushing yards (1,457) and touchdowns (17).
Both of these undefeated teams escaped upset bids this past weekend as significant favorites. The Wolverines (-17.5) trailed Illinois in the fourth quarter but kicked a game-winning field goal in the final seconds. The Buckeyes (-27.5) trailed Maryland at halftime but dominated the third quarter and held on for the victory.
This weekend's winner will capture the Big Ten East and advance to the conference championship game, where they will be a sizeable favorite over the eventual Big Ten West champion (Iowa, Purdue or Minnesota) and strengthen their chances of reaching the College Football Playoff.
"This game should attract a lot of action," Feazel said. "Both of these teams have attracted the attention of bettors all year long so it will be interesting to see which way they lean."
Last year's meeting featured a very similar scenario with both teams ranked in the top five and the winner ultimately capturing the conference title and CFP berth. The Wolverines upset the Buckeyes, which snapped a streak of six straight losses to Ohio State since Jim Harbaugh became head coach at his alma mater. It was also Buckeyes coach Ryan Day's first in-conference loss.
Ohio State (+210) currently has the second-shortest odds to win the national championship and Michigan (+800) is listed as the third-favorite at Caesars. No. 1 Georgia (-130) is currently the odds-on favorite win it all.