The #13 Michigan Wolverines (5-1) host the #15 Wisconsin Badgers (4-1) on Saturday night in a Big 10 showdown. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST at Michigan Stadium and the game will be available on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 7 college football odds, Michigan opened as a 7.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has remained unchanged after early betting, as the Wolverines are currently listed at -7.5. The total for the game is sitting at 47 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Michigan vs Wisconsin
Wisconsin improved to 4-1 on the season last weekend, beating Nebraska 41-24 at home. The Badgers have now won two consecutive conference games and have rebounded nicely after an extremely disappointing 24-21 loss to BYU. QB Alex Hornibook threw for 163 yards and a touchdown against the Cornhuskers, improving his TD to INT ratio to 7:2. Hornibook has been far from spectacular for Wisconsin, as he has only passed for more than 200 yards in a game twice this season. However, they are currently rushing for an average of 287.0 yards per game on the ground, which is 4th overall in the entire country. RB Jonathan Taylors has been fantastic, already rushing for 849 yards in just five games. As a whole, the Badgers are currently averaging 33.8 points per game (45th) on 480.0 total yards per game (27th).
On the other side of the ball, Wisconsin been dominant defensively pretty much all year long. The Badgers are holding opponents to an average of just 16.4 points per game, which is currently 12th overall. They are currently giving up 219.6 yards per game through the air (54th) but just 130.2 yards per game on the ground (42nd).
Michigan moved to 5-1 on the season last weekend after a big 42-21 home win over Maryland last weekend. The victory was the third consecutive conference win for the Wolverines, as they are now 3-0 against Big 10 opponents so far this year. QB Shea Patterson was fantastic against the Terps, throwing for 282 yards and three touchdowns. Patterson has thrown for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns in six games, which is extremely impressive due to the rush-heavy nature of the Wolverines offense. RB Karan Higdon broke the 100 yard rushing plateau yet again against Maryland, making it the fourth straight outing where the senior gained at least 100 yards on the ground. Overall, Michigan is currently averaging 38.2 points per game, which ranks 30th overall.
The Wolverines have been exceptionally strong defensively, limiting opponents to an average of just 15.8 points per game (10th overall). Michigan has been almost unbeatable through the air, as they are currently holding opponents to an average of only 134.0 passing yards per game – 1st overall. On the ground, they currently rank 6th overall, limiting opponents to only 96.5 rushing yards per game.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Wisconsin +7.5
This is one of the most anticipated games on the Week 7 schedule for a reason – two teams currently ranked inside the AP Top 25 going head to head is a recipe for high drama. While I’m certainly not suggesting that the Badgers will win this game outright, I think that this one will stay close for four quarters. Getting 7.5 points in this spot is too many to pass up, especially considering how good these teams have been defensively. Both are currently holding their opponents to under 17 points per game. I think it is much more likely that this game is decided by a touchdown or less than Michigan covering this many points in this spot against a good Wisconsin team looking to make a big statement on the road.
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Wisconsin is a very impressive 9-1-1 ATS over their past 11 games against Michigan. They are also 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games at the Big House and 13-3 ATS over their last 16 road games overall. Michigan, on the other hand, is just 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 October games. They are also 3-9 ATS over their past 12 games after a straight up win of more than 20 points.
Both of these teams feature run-heavy offenses, which should favor the Badgers considering the number of points Michigan has to put up to cover.Wisconsin is also gaining more than 60 total yards per game than the Wolverines. I fully expect this to be a tight, defensive struggle that could very easily come down to a last second field goal. While Michigan does currently own a Top 10 rushing defense, Jonathan Taylor still managed to rush for 132 yards when these two teams met last season. This is just too many free points to give, so I’ll take the road underdog to find a way to cover. Give me the Badgers.