Wisconsin hasn’t played a football game since Oct. 23 due to a major COVID-19 outbreak on the team, but the 13th-ranked Badgers are set to return to the gridiron on Saturday against struggling Michigan, which is a fairly rare home underdog on the NCAAF odds.
How to Bet Wisconsin at Michigan NCAA Football Odds & TV Info
- When: Saturday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Michigan Stadium
- TV: ABC
- Stream: ESPN app
- Opening NCAAF Lines: Wisconsin -4 (total 54.5)
These teams are in opposite Big Ten division so they don’t play every year. They did in 2019, though and the Badgers thumped visiting Michigan 35-14 when Wisconsin was ranked 13th and the Wolverines 11th. Jonathan Taylor ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and Jack Coan added a career-high two rushing touchdowns. Coan, who was recruited by Michigan, also passed for 128 yards. Taylor is now in the NFL and Coan is hurt for Wisconsin. In the first quarter alone, Taylor had 143 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yarder. Michigan QB Shea Patterson finished 14 of 32 for 219 yards with two touchdowns and an interception – he’s gone now.
Michigan leads the all-time series 51-16-1 and has gone 24-6 at Michigan Stadium.
Why Bet on Wisconsin? | 2020 NCAAF Expert AnalysisThe Badgers looked great in winning their season opener 45-7 over Illinois on Oct. 23 but then the virus hit hard. Wisconsin’s past two games were cancelled and if the school has a third the rest of the way, it would be ineligible to reach the Big Ten Championship Game. The Big Ten doesn’t have any bye weeks in the schedule so all games that can’t be played are canceled and not postponed.
UW’s defense didn’t allow a score vs. Illinois (the Illini’s lone score came on a fumble recovery TD), marking the 5th time in Wisconsin’s last 15 games that an opponent failed to score any offensive points. The Badgers have held an opponent without an offensive touchdown 13 times since defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard joined the coaching staff in 2016
Will Wisconsin have star redshirt freshman QB Graham Mertz for this one? Against Illinois, he was historically good in going 20-for-21 for 248 yards and 5 touchdowns. He matched single-game school records for touchdown passes and consecutive completions (17) while breaking the school standard for completion percentage (95.2%).
Mertz, though, is one of several Badgers who tested positive for COVID-19. As of this writing, he remains the protocol but he could play. Badgers offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said Wednesday that Mertz’s status depends on his preparation time this week and if he gets clearance from the team’s sports medicine staff. Big Ten rules state that any player who tests positive must self-isolate for 10 days and cannot return to competition for 21 days. Backup quarterback Chase Wolf also tested positive.
Danny Vanden Boom, who will start against Michigan if both Mertz and Wolf are unavailable, has not played since the 2018 season, when he completed his only pass in three appearances.
Saturday will be the fifth year in a row that Wisconsin and Michigan play despite being in different divisions. It will be the fourth prime-time meeting all-time between the Badgers and Wolverines, and the second in Ann Arbor
Wisconsin seeks wins over the Wolverines in consecutive seasons for just the fourth time in the history of a series that dates to 1892. The Badgers claimed victories over Michigan in back-to-back seasons in 1959-60, 1993-94 and 2009-10. UW won its first trip to Michigan Stadium, in 1928, but has won there just five times since
Why Bet on Michigan? | 2020 NCAAF Expert AnalysisThe Wolverines are one of the biggest disappointments in the country at 1-2 and were upset last week 38-21 at Indiana to fall out of the Top 25. Michigan is unranked for the first time since the end of the 2017 season. The loss halted a 24-game series win streak for the Wolverines, who had won 39 of the last 40 against IU. U-M’s last setback against the Hoosiers came in 1987.
Despite matching the Hoosiers score-for-score in the second half, the Wolverines were unable to overcome a slow first-half performance that put them in a 24-7 hole at halftime. Untimely turnovers on a pair of possessions in the fourth quarter ended any chance of a comeback.
Quarterback Joe Milton had career highs with 344 passing yards and three touchdowns — 149 of those yards and one of those touchdowns going to wide receiver Ronnie Bell. The Wolverines possessed the ball for only 21:10, compared to the Hoosiers’ 38:50. Michigan did not convert on third downs at nearly the same rate as Indiana, notching first-down yardage on only three of its 11 third-down opportunities overall after going 0-for-6 in the first half.
Freshman Zak Zinter earned the starting nod at right guard against the Hoosiers. He became the first Wolverine offensive lineman to start as a true freshman since Ben Bredeson started the final eight games of the 2016 season at left guard.
Milton ranks second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in total offense (323.7 avg.). Bell has 14 catches for 269 yards and one TD, including six receptions of 20-plus yards. Michigan is second in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in fewest turnovers (2; both interceptions). U-M has not fumbled the ball through three games.
- Badgers are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 road games.
- Badgers are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games in November.
- Badgers are 1-6 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- Wolverines are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
- Wolverines are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss.
- Home team is 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
Expert PredictionMichigan 24, Wisconsin 22
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