Michigan found a way to hold off Rutgers last weekend in its Big Ten opener. Now, the question revolves around the odds of Michigan handling a game at Wisconsin, the Wolverines’ first road test of the 2021 season.
The Badgers are reeling after a humbling loss to Notre Dame this past weekend in Chicago. Can the Associated Press 14th-ranked Wolverines stay unbeaten?
NCAA Odds: Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers
Sportsbooks torn on Michigan-Wisconsin odds
Michigan sports betting oddsmakers in aren’t quite sure what to make of Saturday’s game, as some sportsbooks are just listing an over/under total for the contest at the moment.
Of those offering a line, DraftKings Sportsbook has Michigan as a 1-point road favorite. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Wolverines as a ½-point underdog on the road.
That leaves the moneylines as an essential pick ’em right now. So if you’re confident on a side, you can place a straight-up bet without the worry of much juice on the game.
One thing oddsmakers are agreeing on is the total. The over/under is listed at 43.5 points across the board.
Michigan is now 3-1 against the spread, and the under has hit on three of four occasions. Wisconsin is 1-2 against the spread, with the under hitting twice.
The Wolverines are 51-17-1 all-time against Wisconsin. However, the Badgers have won three of the past four encounters. Wisconsin has also covered in six of the past seven meetings with Michigan.
How to watch: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan Wolverines
- What: No. 14 Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (1-2, 0-1)
- When: Noon ET, Saturday, Oct. 2
- Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.
- TV: Fox (Announcers: Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft)
- Online livestream: FOX Sports App
- Radio: Learfield Michigan Sports Network
- Satellite Radio: SiriusXM Channel 196 (Michigan); SiriusXM Channel 83 (Wisconsin)
Wolverines hold off Rutgers to open Big Ten Conference play
Michigan survived its first Big Ten game of 2021 on Saturday, earning a 20-13 win over Rutgers.
The Wolverines took a 20-3 lead into halftime, but were shut out in the second half as Rutgers made it a one-score game to easily cover a spread that found its way into the 20-point range.
Michigan’s defense came through in the end, picking up a fourth down defensive stop and forcing a turnover, respectively, in Rutgers’ final two possessions.
The concern for U-M has to be that its offense hit a road block this week. Michigan had just 275 total yards in the win, and only 112 rushing yards on 38 carries.
Michigan has been relying heavily on the run to get things done. But when the run wasn’t working, Michigan’s passing game didn’t step up.
Cade McNamara was just 9 of 16 passing for 163 yards, while Blake Corum was held to 68 rushing yards on 21 carries. Hassan Haskins ended up with both touchdowns, rushing for 41 yards on 12 attempts.
Michigan creeping up futures boards
Although Michigan didn’t look terribly impressive last week, the Wolverines did stay unbeaten.
They are a quarter of their way through the season without a loss, and that is improving their odds in futures markets.
U-M opened the season at +8000 to win the national championship, but their odds are now ranging from +4000 (FanDuel) to +6600 (BetMGM Sportsbook).
DraftKings is now listing Michigan at +800 to win the Big Ten title after the Wolverines opened the season at +1700.
Corum is keeping himself in the Heisman Trophy discussion, as he sits at +5000 to win the honor. Corum now has 475 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the season. He currently ranks ninth nationally in rushing yards.
Wisconsin Badgers throttled by Notre Dame
Wisconsin struggled mightily on Saturday, suffering a 41-13 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The game was pretty competitive entering the fourth, tied 10-1all but the Irish exploded for 31 points in the final quarter. ND had a kick return for a touchdown and two interception returns for scores to pull away.
Graham Mertz was not on his game. The Wisconsin quarterback was just 18 of 41 passing for 240 yards. He amassed one touchdown and a whopping four interceptions. The sophomore has not been able to find the magic he initially showed as a freshman. Included in that start was a win over Michigan on the road.
On the ground, Wisconsin was held to 75 yards on 29 carries. Chez Mellusi is leading Wisconsin’s rushing attack on the season with 319 yards and two scores.
One thing Wisconsin still has is an impressive defense that is allowing just 210.3 yards per game. The Badgers have the nation’s top rushing defense, allowing only 23 yards per contest. It will be challenged by Michigan’s run-heavy offense on Saturday. Something will have to give.