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Buckeyes heavy favorites for uncertain Michigan State trip

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Ohio State Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Justin Fields and Ohio State enter the matchup with Michigan State as a heavy favorite. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

Buckeyes heavy favorites for uncertain Michigan State trip

COLUMBUS — Ohio State is facing plenty of uncertainty as it heads into the final two weeks of the regular season.

The football facility is shut down due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases within the program. Coach Ryan Day is sidelined for 10 days because of a positive test. The Buckeyes aren’t sure when they are allowed to practice again or prepare for a road trip to Michigan State on Saturday — or if that game can even happen at all.

Even with all the uncertainty, the folks in the desert understand the talent gap between the Buckeyes and Spartans. Ohio State opened as a 24-point road favorite for the matchup with Michigan State that is scheduled for Saturday, according to VegasInsider.com.

Ohio State is hopeful it can return to action after cancelling last week’s game at Illinois.

“It’s kind of fluid, frankly,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Saturday. “We’re going to have to go day-by-day, see where we are today and test again tomorrow, see what we have with tests tomorrow. So it’s going to be day-to-day. I wish I could say it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I really can’t. We’re going to have to [be patient], because there’s too much uncertainty here. We’re just going to have to look at each day and see what we got.”

The Buckeyes, one of the top five teams in the country, are still heavily favored, even amid all the uncertainty.

Ryan Day-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State coach Ryan Day won’t be on the sideline if the Buckeyes play Michigan State. (Courtesy/Ohio State Dept. of Athletics)

Ohio State gambling trends

  • Ohio State is 2-2 against the spread this season, covering the 26-point spread in the opener against Nebraska and then a week later at Penn State. The Buckeyes failed to cover the spread in sloppy wins over Rutgers and Indiana in their last two games.
  • Ohio State is 5-1 against the spread in its last six road games in which the Buckeyes were favored.
  • Michigan State is 2-3 against the spread this season. Both of those wins came when the Spartans were double-digit underdogs — to Michigan and Northwestern.
  • Ohio State is 3-2 against the spread against Michigan State in their last five meetings. The Buckeyes are 4-1 outright in those five contests.
  • Michigan State is 1-5 against the spread in its last six home games as an underdog.
Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.