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Michigan vs Wisconsin Odds, Picks and Betting Lines

Ryan Bolta

by Ryan Bolta in College Football

Updated Sep 29, 2021 · 7:01 AM PDT

Blake Corum celebrates
Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Washington in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
  • #14 Michigan (4-0) visits Wisconsin (1-2) on Saturday at Noon EST on FOX
  • Michigan is the only team in college football without a win as an underdog since 2015
  • See the odds, predictions and best bet to make in the conference game below

Get ready for a rough and tumble affair this Saturday on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff.

Undefeated Michigan heads to Camp Randall to take on Wisconsin in a game that should look much different than last year. The Badgers won that contest 49-11, but enter this game as slim 1.5 point favorites.

The line gives the Wolverines a chance to do something they haven’t since 2015 – win a game as an underdog.

Michigan vs Wisconsin Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Michigan Wolverines +1.5 (-108) +104 O 43.5 (-110)
Wisconsin Badgers -1.5 (-128) -128 U 43.5 (-110)

Odds as of Sept 29th at FanDuel

That streak dating back to 2015 lands on the shoulders of head coach Jim Harbaugh. He took over the Michigan program that year and his Wolverines are 0-12 as underdogs. They are the only team without a win as an underdog in that time. Let’s take a deep dive into this game to see if they have a chance to break the streak this Saturday.

Wisconsin Reeling After Tough Loss to Notre Dame

Wisconsin is 1-2 early in the season but that can mostly be credited to a tough schedule out of the gate. Their win was against lowly Eastern Michigan but the two losses came to Penn State and Notre Dame. Both the Nittany Lions and Fighting Irish are ranked inside the top ten, which is important for context.

Despite the tough run of opponents, Wisconsin enters the Michigan game with a run defense putting up historic numbers. Through three games they’ve allowed a total of 69 rushing yards. That ranks first in all of college football and it isn’t close, as does their opponents average of 1.01 yards per carry.

For the Badgers to have stats like this after games against Notre Dame and Penn State is very impressive. The flip side of that coin is, if they weren’t able to win games when the defense was that good what happens when it levels off?

One key issue has been the quarterback play. Graham Mertz was highly rated recruit but it hasn’t translated to on field production. He is completing only 56.8% of his passes and has one touchdown to go with six interceptions. Pro Football Focus has Mertz ranked dead last among quarterbacks in the Big Ten conference. He’ll need to improve quickly to hang with Michigan in this one.

Wolverines Looking to Continue Undefeated Start

Michigan has racked up wins against Western Michigan, Washington, Northern Illinois and Rutgers to start the year. They were favored in each of those games, but it’s still impressive they won them all by at least a touchdown. Harbaugh entered the season on the hot seat but a 5-0 start could go a long way to extending his stay in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines rank 16th in college football with 40.3 points per game and a large part of the credit goes to running back Blake Corum. He has 475 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on only 69 attempts this season. Pro Football Focus has him graded as the best running back in the country to this point. Despite the fact Wisconsin has the top ranked run defense, Corum is still expected to help Michigan establish the run game.

Michigan will lean on quarterback Cade McNamara is Corum struggles early in the game. McNamara is an improvement over Mertz, but not by much. He has 534 yards passing this season, with three touchdowns and two fumbles. He appears to be more of a game manager, which is okay when the run game is working as well as it has been.

Bet Michigan on the Moneyline

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Michigan eventually needs to win as an underdog and there’s a great chance it happens in Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon.

The fact the Badgers couldn’t muster enough offense to take advantage of their great defense is alarming to say the least. The low total is tempting but keep it simple and bet on the Wolverines to extend their season opening win streak to five games.

  • The Pick: Michigan Moneyline (+104)
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