No. 9 Michigan answered a lot of concerns last weekend.
The Wolverines went to Camp Randall and easily disposed of Wisconsin, while moving their way into the top-10 rankings.
Can U-M bring that same effort on the road again this week when it goes under the lights to face Nebraska?
NCAA football odds: Michigan at Nebraska
Michigan favored by a field goal
Following their first road win, Michigan finds itself as a favorite on the road this week against Nebraska.
Oddsmakers are listing the Wolverines as a 3-point favorite across the board against the Huskers early in the week. Moneylines vary slightly, but DraftKings Sportsbook is offering up Michigan at –155. BetMGM Sportsbook has Nebraska listed at +140.
The over/under total for the game is listed at 52 points at most sportsbooks.
Michigan is now 4-1 against the spread this season following Saturday’s win. The Wolverines are 3-2 with the under in 2021. Nebraska is 4-1-1 against the spread this season and 3-2-1 on the under.
Michigan holds a slight 5-4-1 advantage over Nebraska over 10 meetings all-time.
The Wolverines earned a 56-10 win in Ann Arbor in their last meeting with the Huskers back in 2018.
How to watch: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Michigan Wolverines
- What: No. 9 Michigan (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at Nebraska (3-3, 1-2)
- When: 7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 9
- Where: Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
- TV: ABC
- Online livestream: ESPN+
- Radio: Learfield Michigan Sports Network
- Satellite Radio: SiriusXM Channel 372 (Michigan)
Wolverines make a statement in Madison
There were a lot of questions remaining for Michigan heading into their first road game last Saturday. However, U-M answered a lot of those concerns in a 38-17 victory at Wisconsin.
It was Jim Harbaugh’s first win with the Wolverines as an underdog at kickoff.
Michigan proved its defense was legit, holding the Badgers to just 210 total yards and only 43 rushing yards.
The unit racked up six sacks and seven tackles for loss, while also creating three turnovers. David Ojabo had seven tackles and 2.5 sacks to lead the Wolverines.
Offensively, questions remained about Cade McNamara and his capability with so few throws early in the 2021 season. Saturday, McNamara was 17-of-28 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns. The junior managed the game well and still has yet to throw an INT in his college career.
J.J. McCarthy also briefly stepped in and threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Baldwin.
Michigan did struggle to run the ball, putting up just 112 yards on 44 carries. However, the Wolverines showed they can still win when the run game isn’t dominating.
Is U-M a title contender?
Saturday’s win sure seemed to thrust Michigan into another echelon in the playoff discussion.
Regardless of Wisconsin’s struggles this year, winning at Camp Randall is impressive.
Following the weekend’s action, Michigan has seen a big jump in its futures odds.
The Wolverines are now at +3000 to win the College Football Playoffs this season by DraftKings. They opened the season at +8000 and were as high as +6600 just last week.
Alabama (+150) and Georgia (+175) are the clear frontrunners, while Ohio State (+1000) is the top-listed Big Ten team. Still, U-M has just six teams listed ahead of it in the odds.
When it comes to the Big Ten Conference odds, DraftKings now lists U-M at +550 to win the title. The Wolverines opened the season at +1700. Ohio State is a -120 favorite right now. Only Iowa (+380) and Penn State (+500) are ahead of Michigan in the odds listing.
A rough outing for Blake Corum pushed him back in the Heisman Trophy odds race. He now sits at +7500, along with McNamara, to win the 2021 honor. Corum was held to 46 yards on 15 carries at Wisconsin. It was his second-straight game being held under 70 rushing yards.
Nebraska heating up
The 2021 season got off to an embarrassing start for the Cornhuskers in a 30-22 loss at Illinois.
However, since then Nebraska has looked like a much different team.
The Huskers nearly upset Oklahoma on the road and then suffered a 23-20 OT loss at Michigan State last week. This past weekend, Nebraska showed its true ability in a 56-7 thrashing of Northwestern at home.
Nebraska racked up 657 yards of offense in the win, including 427 rushing yards. Defensively, the Huskers allowed just 293 total yards and held the Wildcats to 37 rushing yards.
Michigan could have its hands full, as Nebraska now ranks 11th nationally in total offense with 503.7 yards per game.
Adrian Martinez has thrown for 1,463 yards and six touchdowns under center, but has been sacked 18 times this year. His top target is Samori Toure, who has caught 23 passes for 483 yards.
On the ground, Martinez is the leading rusher as well with 412 yards and nine scores. However, Nebraska has four backs with over 100 yards on the season.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Tony Ding