Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields plays against Indiana during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

  • #4 Ohio State (4-0) faces Michigan State (2-3) at 12 PM EST on December 5th, 2020 on ABC
  • Buckeyes Head Coach Ryan Day tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the team
  • See the game odds, spread, and total along with a prediction below

#4 Ohio State finally gets another chance to impress the College Football Playoff committee.

The Buckeyes have had two of their last three games canceled due to COVID-19. Despite the setbacks, it appears as though they’ll play Michigan State on Saturday at noon EST on ABC.

#4 Ohio State vs Michigan State Week 14 Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
#4 Ohio State -24 (-109) -2500 O 59.5 (-112)
Michigan State +24 (-112) +1050 U 59.5 (-109)

Odds taken Dec. 2nd at DraftKings

This game is surrounded by the unknown. Who will travel with Ohio State to East Lansing? Which version of Michigan State will we see? A little digging provides not only clarity but an idea for which side you should wager on.

Ryan Day Out For Ohio State

Working on the assumption Ohio State will have the majority of their star players in attendance, there will still be one glaring hole on the sidelines. Head coach Ryan Day contracted COVID-19 prior to last week’s canceled game and will not be cleared to travel with the team.

Associate head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson will take over in his absence. Johnson is an incredible teacher and continually sends defensive lineman to the NFL. That being said, he may not be head coach material. Does he have the play-calling ability of Day? Almost certainly not. Expecting the Buckeyes to play with the same ferocity on offense as they usually would is ill advised to say the least.

Assuming Ohio State tones things down through the air and relies more heavily on the run game to simplify things, there could be trouble. Master Teague is the teams leading back and has 73 carries for 380 yards.

Following in the footsteps of J.K. Dobbins and Ezekiel Elliot is a tough ask, but there’s no denying there’s been a drop-off at the position. Trying to cover as 24-point favorites is difficult when missing both a mastermind coach and a reliable run game.

Michigan State Riding High After Upset Victory

Trying to predict which Spartans team will show up has been a tough task this season. They followed a win against rival Michigan with back-to-back losses against Iowa and Indiana by a combined 66 points.

Entering last week’s home game against #11 Northwestern, little was expected of Michigan State. They proved the doubters wrong with a shocking upset, beating the Wildcats 29-20. Quite the statement considering they entered the game as nearly two touchdown underdogs.

Much like Ohio State, the Spartans are trying to find consistency on the ground. They have four players with more than 10 carries this season. Two are averaging less than two yards per carry, and none of the four are averaging more than 3.5 yards per try.

Ohio State has a stout run defense and should be able to force Michigan State to throw the ball. Quarterback Rocky Lombardi has eight touchdowns and eight interceptions but could enjoy facing a secondary that has allowed big plays time and time again this season.

Take The Spartans With The Points

Ohio State had a limited amount of practice time this week, will be without their head coach and are facing a team riding a wave of confidence. The fact Michigan State can be trailing by four touchdowns and still be a score away from a back door cover should give you confidence. Take the Spartans to make a wager on the spread a winning pick.

The Pick: Michigan State +24 (-112)

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