A tasty Big Ten matchup sees the 19th-ranked Michigan Wolverines playing host to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their homecoming game. The college football odds have Michigan as a sizable favorite as they look to extend their winning streak against the Knights.
|Game: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0) at (19) Michigan Wolverines (3-0) |
Location: Michigan Stadium. Date: Saturday
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|Rutgers||+20½ -110||+800||49½ -110o|
|(19) Michigan||-20½ -110||-1400||49½ -110u|
Head to Head
As far as lopsided series go, Michigan owns Rutgers. The Wolverines are 6-1 all-time against their Big Ten rival. Since dropping their first game, the Wolverines have beaten the Scarlet Knights by an average of 37.5 points. This includes 78-0 and 52-0 wins in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Next game: vs Ohio State
Rutgers made short work of Delaware as a 19½-point favorite, pushing its college football spread record to 3-0. The Scarlet Knights blew up for four touchdowns in the second quarter as quarterback Noah Vedral easily torched the Blue Hens for 12.4 yards per attempt and 80.8 percent passing completion.
Defensive back Patrice Rene has continued to be unavailable thanks to an undisclosed injury and now, two defensive backs, Malachi “Max” Melton and Chris Long have been suspended following a drive-by paintball incident.
Next game: at Wisconsin
Michigan stayed unbeaten against the spread (3-0 ATS) with a 63-10 beatdown of Northern Illinois. Even with a 27½-point spread, the Wolverines did not slow down and poured it on their overmatched opponent, tallying 606 yards and eight rushing touchdowns.
Michigan is still without wide receiver Ronnie Bell (knee), who is ruled out for the rest of the season following his injury against Western Michigan in Week 1.
Betting on the Game
Excluding the two absurd blowouts, Rutgers is actually 3-1 ATS against Michigan in its losses. Of course, this is because the spread for the Wolverines have been massive, going over 20 points in all but one of these games. But even last season, when Michigan was “only” favored by a dozen, Rutgers still covered in losing a triple-overtime thriller.
Rutgers has been a solid road team for betting online. The Scarlet Knights have covered six straight times and are 4-0 as an underdog since 2020. We can credit coach Greg Schiano and defensive coordinator Robb Smith for making this team a tough one to play.
The Scarlet Knights currently have a top defense in the nation, limiting opponents to just 11.3 points and 4.21 yards per play. This team also forces 2.67 turnovers a game and already has eight takeaways compared to Michigan’s two.
The 20½ points for Michigan here seems a bit too wide. The Wolverines are on fire right now but Rutgers is a big step up in competition. They will have to beat the Scarlet Knights from bell to bell, to use a boxing analogy, if they want to cover this lofty spread.
The public has sided with Michigan, generally. And if the Wolverines’ top-ranked rushing attack (350.3 yards a game) can wear out Rutgers’ linebackers, they may just run away with this game.
Schiano’s teams won’t lay down for anyone, not even for Jim Harbaugh’s mighty Wolverines. Michigan is the rightful betting favorite here but -1400 is a lot of juice.
The Wolverines have been unstoppable on offense and other than their insane rushing yards per- game average, they are also sixth overall in yards per play with 7.88. Michigan has also had to punt the ball twice, which is only a fraction of how many touchdowns it scored in one game.
It’s a Monday morning and I woke up thinking about the best game on the college football slate this upcoming Saturday.
That’s right. It’s Rutgers and Michigan. pic.twitter.com/x9LSVeF8a8
— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) September 20, 2021
Nonetheless, the Scarlet Knights are only giving up 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. This team isn’t all defense either. It can put up points on the board as shown by their second-quarter firestorm against Delaware. Rutgers’ 41-point average isn’t too far off from Michigan’s 47.
The Scarlet Knights can also rely on Vedral to help move the chains when they start falling behind. But while covering the spread is feasible, beating the Wolverines in Michigan is another story. Harbaugh’s crew is 16-1 at home as a favorite since 2018. Rutgers is 3-10 as a road underdog in this span.
Sticking to the sportsbook’s point spread may be the better play here, though as a game this one should be buckets of fun.
Fans are hoping for a high-scoring affair and they may just get it. The total opened at 52 but has slid to 49½. All seven meetings in the series have gone over.
In fact, the average game score has totaled 61.9 points and in six instances, Michigan either covered the over by themselves or did 90 percent of the job. While this game won’t be this one-sided, an improved Rutgers offense should be able to hold its own against the Wolverines.
The total has gone over in 10 of Michigan’s last 17 games as a home favorite. Interestingly, though, nine of Rutgers’ last 13 road games as an underdog have gone under. It is plausible that defense rules here and we see the total fall just short of the half-century mark.
But even if the teams’ scoring averages take a dip, we’re still talking about two of the most prolific offenses in the Big Ten at this point.