The #20 ranked Michigan Wolverines (2-1) will look to win their third consecutive game on Saturday afternoon when they host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-2) in Big 10 action. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST at Michigan Stadium and the game will be televised on FS1.
Taking a look at the Week 4 college football odds, the books opened with Michigan as a 18-point home favorite. That line has shifted slightly after early betting, as the Wolverines are currently listed at -18.5. The total for the game is sitting at 50.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Michigan vs Nebraska
Nebraska will attempt to avoid their first 0-3 start in over 70 years on Saturday after losing to 24-19 to Troy in Week 3. The Cornhuskers were forced to turn to second-string QB Andrew Bunch after stater Adrian Martinez was lost to injury. Martinez may be unable to start again this week, which certainly doesn’t bode well for this struggling offense. Nebraska is only averaging 23.5 points per game (102nd) on 464.5 total yards per game (42nd). It doesn’t help that they are also just 10 of 28 on third down conversions through their first two games. The only true bright spot for this offense so far has been the play of running backs Greg Bell and Maurice Washington, as the duo has combined for 294 yards on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, Nebraska is currently giving up an average of 28.5 points per game which is 89th overall nationwide. However, the Cornhuskers have looked extremely strong against the run, as they are giving up an average of just 93.5 yards per game on the ground (20th). Unfortunately, their secondary has been relatively poor, as opposing teams have averaged 230.5 yards per game through the air (79th).
After a tough loss to Notre Dame in Week 1, Michigan reeled off consecutive victories over Western Michigan and SMU. The Mustangs were no match for the Wolverines last weekend, as Michigan was dominant for four quarters en route to a 45-20 victory. QB Shea Patterson led the way on offense, going 14/18 and throwing for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Patterson has already thrown six touchdown passes on the season while completing an impressive 70.8% of his passes. He has also thrown at least two or more touchdown passes in seven out of his last ten games.
The Wolverines have been fantastic defensively, as they’ve been allowing opponents to score an average of just 15.7 points per game (24th overall). Looking a bit deeper, Michigan is giving up only 121.7 yards per game on the ground to opponents (37th). Their pass defense has been even better, allowing on 154.7 yards per game through the air (17th). LB Devin Bush has been having an outstanding season thus far, racking up 23 tackles in just three games.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Michigan -18.5
Michigan has now won 16 out of their last 17 games at home against teams ranked outside of the Top 25. I don’t really like have to lay so many points, but with all the question marks at the QB position for Nebraska, I think I’m going to take the Wolverines to keep rolling at home. Patterson has really started to come into his own for Michigan, and I think he can lead this offense to a 3+ touchdown victory at the Big House. Andrew Bunch didn’t look good at all coming off the bench and even if Martinez heals enough to play on Saturday, he still will have his hands full against one of the nation’s top defenses.
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Michigan is 4-1-1 ATS over their past six games following an against the spread loss. Jim Harbaugh will have his troops fired up and ready to go in this one, especially considering the Wolverines have a ton of work left to do after a disappointing. While they weren’t exactly playing against powerhouses the last couple of weeks, Michigan still put 45 and 49 points consecutively, which doesn’t bode well for a lackluster Nebraska defense. The Cornhuskers are just 2-5 ATS over their past seven games against Big 10 opponents, while also going 1-5 ATS over their past six games overall.
When you combine the question marks at QB for Nebraska with the fact that Michigan has racked up 885 yards over the last two games combined, I think this is a spot where you have to side with the home team. The Cornhuskers have also looked pretty undisciplined on defense, getting called for three separate penalties that resulted in first downs against Troy. Michigan looks to have finally turned this around offensively, especially Donovan Peoples-Jones who clearly has gelled with Patterson after catching all three of his TD passes against SMU. Nebraska might be able to hang around with the Wolverines for a quarter or two, but Michigan should eventually pull away and put up enough points to cover.