The Michigan Wolverines hope to bounce back from a rough night in Happy Valley when they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Kickoff will be at noon EST on Saturday, October 28 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Fans can see the game on the Big Ten Network.
Michigan is listed as a 23.5-point favorite against Rutgers. That line has grown after the Wolverines opened as 21-point favorites. The over/under for the game is 43.5 points. Click here to read a full list of Week 9 betting odds and links to game previews.
Rutgers vs Michigan Game Betting Preview & Vegas Odds
The Wolverines are no doubt in a bit of a slump. They’ve lost two of their last three games and were lucky to escape with an overtime win against Indiana for their only win during that stretch.
After visiting Penn State last week, the schedule is going to get easier for the next few weeks. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Wolverines have some issues to sort out, most notably at quarterback, where John O’Korn continues to struggle in place of the injured Wilton Speight.
Rutgers, on the other hand, has some positive momentum after back-to-back wins against Illinois and Purdue. The Scarlet Knights are now 2-2 in the conference and 3-4 overall.
The Scarlet Knights actually beat Michigan in their first year in the Big Ten in 2014. However, this matchup has not been kind to Rutgers since then, including a 78-0 beatdown last year.
Free NCAA Football Pick Against the Spread: Michigan -23.5
I don’t think Michigan will match last year’s 78-0 win over Rutgers. But a visit from the Scarlet Knights is just what Michigan needs to get back on track. This is still a huge talent mismatch, and after a week of tough love from Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines will take some frustration out on Rutgers and win easily.
The Scarlet Knights should feel good about beating Purdue. However, they were badly outplayed in that game. If you take away a 74-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards in the 1st quarter, Rutgers had less than 150 yards of total offense. Also, quarterback Giovanni Rescigno was just 9 for 18 for less than 100 yards passing the ball.
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If that’s all Rutgers could muster offensively at home against Purdue, they’re going to have big problems playing the Michigan defense on the road. Edwards has had a good season, helping to hide the problems Rutgers has at quarterback. But he’s no Saquon Barkley. The Wolverines have managed to contain nearly every running back they’ve faced this year other than Barkley.
There should be little doubt that the Wolverines are going to stack the box and shut down Edwards and the Rutgers running game at all costs. The Scarlet Knights have been so inept throwing the ball all season that it’s tough to see them having any success if Edwards is successfully contained by the Michigan defense.
Of course, to cover the spread, the Wolverines will need to get going offensively. Fortunately, most Big Ten teams have been able to move the ball against the Rutgers defense. Even in defeat last week, Purdue had nearly 500 yards of offense, more than doubling the Scarlet Knights in total yards. Even Illinois managed to out-gain Rutgers in an 11-point loss.
Obviously, O’Korn has struggled this year, but the Wolverines should be able to get their running game going against the Scarlet Knights and take some of the pressure off him. That should be enough for the Wolverines to build a comfortable lead, especially with the Michigan defense having a serious chance to pitch a shutout. It won’t be 78-0, but the Wolverines should manage to beat a 23.5-point spread.