Michigan at Rutgers Odds & Expert Pick
No. 4 Michigan is a huge favorite on college football lines in Big Ten action on Saturday evening at Rutgers and really the game shouldn’t be close. So why is its somewhat newsworthy? Here we are in Week 6 of the college football season and it’s Michigan’s first road game.
How To Bet on the Michigan at Rutgers Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Saturday, Oct. 8, 7 PM ET
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.
Radio: Michigan / Rutgers
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Michigan -27.5 (53)
Why Bet on Michigan?
Clearly a better team. Not close. The Wolverines (5-0) are off a 14-7 win over No. 8 Wisconsin, UM’s only close game thus far. Senior Amara Darboh caught a 46-yard go-ahead touchdown with 7:56 left, and senior Jourdan Lewis made a one-handed interception to seal the game in the closing minutes. It was the program’s first victory over a top-10 opponent since Sept. 27, 2008 (Wisconsin).
Michigan held the statistical advantage over Wisconsin in several categories, more than doubling up the Badgers in total yards (349-159) and first downs (21-8), as well as winning the time-of- possession battle (35:41 to 24:19). The defense forced Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook into three interceptions. U-M’s defense allowed 30 total yards on Wisconsin’s final 19 plays (1.6 yards per play) over the final 23 minutes. That defense is healthier with All-America Lewis back at corner, Taco Charlton at defensive end and, for the first time in three weeks Saturday, Bryan Mone at nose tackle.
Junior quarterback Wilton Speight completed 20-of- 32 passes for 219 yards, connecting with Darboh for his lone touchdown pass of the afternoon vs. Wisconsin. Senior fullback Khalid Hill recorded his fifth touchdown of the season on a one-yard rush early in the second quarter. After entering the season with no career touchdowns, he has scored in all but one game this year. It was the first-ever Top 10 matchup between Michigan and Wisconsin.
However, UM lost offensive tackle Grant Newsome, the leader of that line, to a season-ending leg injury. The play came early in the second quarter, when Newsome was chop-blocked at the knee. Junior Juwann Bushell-Beatty replaced Newsome at left tackle.
Why Bet on Rutgers?
It’s possible this game could be shifted to Sunday or even moved depending on what Hurricane Matthew does.
The Scarlet Knights (2-3, 0-2) lost 58-0 last week at No. 2 Ohio State. Junior Robert Martin led the Scarlet Knights with 40 yards rushing. Redshirt freshman Jawuan Harris had three catches for 33 yards. Freshman linebacker Tyreek Maddox-Williams had a game-high 11 tackles, joining sophomores Kiy Hester and sophomore Deonte Roberts, who each had 10 tackles, in double figures. Rutgers won the turnover margin, 1-0, after picking off a pass and not turning over the ball. That’s about the only good news from that game. Senior wide receiver Janarion Grant and fifth-year senior defensive end Quanzell Lambert will both miss the remainder of the 2016 season due to injury.
Rutgers has transitioned to the spread offense in 2016 under offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer. Rutgers has scored on 9-of- 12 trips inside the red zone this season. The offense had over 300 total yards of offense in each of its first four games for the first time since 2012. Nine of the 11 touchdown scoring drives have lasted under three minutes, with four under one minute.
Michigan will mark the third ranked opponent this season, as RU previously faced No. 14 Washington, now No. 5, and No. 2 Ohio State. Rutgers will be the only team in the nation to have faced three teams in the top five in the latest AP Poll. Rutgers will play three ranked opponents within the first six games of its schedule for the first time in program history. The Scarlet Knights own nine victories over a ranked opponent in their history. The highest ranked opponent beaten was No. 2 USF in 2007.
Rutgers and Michigan will meet for the third time in the teams’ all-time history, with the series tied at 1-1. The Scarlet Knights earned their first-ever Big Ten victory in 2014, defeating the Wolverines 26-24. Michigan picked up its first win in the series in 2015, a 49-16 victory at Michigan Stadium.
My Expert Pick
Wolverines are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Scarlet Knights are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
Scarlet Knights are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Take Michigan, go under the total in NCAA football betting.