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Rutgers vs Michigan Picks & Odds (March 9)

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Mar 8, 2023 · 10:24 PM PST

Rutgers and Michigan battle for a loose ball
Feb 23, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Joey Baker (15) rebounds behind forward Will Tschetter (42) during the second half against Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Oskar Palmquist (1) and guard Jett Howard (13) at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Wolverines are laying 3 points in the Rutgers vs Michigan odds in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday
  • Rutgers enters play having dropped six of eight
  • Check out the latest Rutgers vs Michigan odds below, plus best bets

It’s only the second round of the Big Ten Tournament, but the Rutgers vs Michigan contest is basically a loser leaves town match when it comes to March Madness.

The Scarlet Knights currently project as one of the first four teams in, while the Wolverines are one of the first four out.

The loser of this game can basically kiss their NCAA Tournament hopes goodbye, and online sportsbooks are expecting that program to be Rutgers in Thursday’s college basketball odds.

Rutgers vs Michigan Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Rutger Scarlet Knights +3 (-110) +140 O 132 (-110)
Michigan Wolverines -3 (-110) -165 U 132 (-110)

Michigan opened up as a 3-point favorite, in a contest that features a total of 132. Tip-off is scheduled for Noon ET at the United Center in Chicago, IL, with the Big Ten Network providing the broadcast coverage.


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Rutgers vs Michigan Betting Trends

Neither team enters in strong form, which has contributed to their bubble standing in the March Madness Bracket. The Scarlet Knights have dropped six of their past eight contests, and failed miserably on offense in a 58-45 defeat to Michigan two weeks ago.

The Wolverines meanwhile, haven’t fared much better lately. They’ve lost back to back games, albeit both in overtime, while tasting defeat in four of seven overall.

Michigan checks in with a higher ranking per KenPom and NCAA Net, with their biggest advantage coming on offense. The Wolverines rank 41st at that end of the court, while Rutgers sits at 172nd.

Michigan has poured in at least 84 points three of their past five contests, and feature the best overall scorer on either side in Hunter Dickinson. The 7-1 junior averages 18.2 points per outing, and has splashed 23 or more in three straight.

Michigan’s problem is they don’t do anything exceptional. They’re don’t shoot a high percentage from the field, and they’re a mediocre defense. The Wolverines fail to generate turnovers, and they don’t do enough on the offensive glass. Their success is predicated on Dickinson’s scoring, as well as the offense of guards Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard.

Rutgers on the other hand, is all defense all the time. They’re the fourth highest graded unit per defensive efficiency according to KenPom, and they lead the conference in points against. They’ll need a little more offensively than they got the last time they faced Michigan, but there’s not a ton of optimism that they can produce.

The Scarlet Knights have been held below 60 points in four of their last five games. They rank 12th in the conference in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point efficiency. No team shoots a lower percentage from inside the arc, while Rutgers only makes 68% of their free throws.

Rutgers vs Michigan Predictions

Rutgers’ lousy offense and strong defense has led to plenty of low scoring games. The under has hit in 10 of their last 14 outings, while their recent meeting with Michigan fell 31.5 points below the total.

The Scarlet Knights rank 260th in pace, while Michigan doesn’t operate particularly fast either ranking 157th in possessions per game. Michigan is in the bottom half of the nation in an average possession length on offense, while they force their opponents to play a below average pace on defense.

That slow pace leads to fewer possessions which ultimately leads to less offense. With a spot in March Madness hanging in the balance we should also expect both teams to gripping the ball just a little bit tighter, which could also reduce efficiency.

Postseason basketball tends to breed lower scoring games, and this contest is a prime candidate to follow suit.

Pick: Under 132 (-110)


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