Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers – College Football, October 2, 2021

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| September 30, 2021 12:42 pm PDT

The Big Ten has been the biggest challenger to the SEC in recent memory. They have yet to win a national championship since Ohio State won the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff in 2014-15.

If the conference wants to get back in the national title picture, they will need a few title contenders to emerge. Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan remain undefeated. Wisconsin already has disappointed with two losses.

The Wolverines have never won a game as an underdog under Jim Harbaugh. Michigan is hoping they can walk into Camp Randall Stadium and come out victorious whether they are favored or not. Wisconsin already has two losses overall, but they are still in the thick of things in the Big Ten West.

To further discuss this matchup, it is time to dissect the latest odds via Sports Betting AG.

Michigan vs. Wisconsin Odds

Michigan (-1)-106
Wisconsin (+1)-114
Over 43.5-110
Under 43.5-110

Jim Harbaugh has never knocked off an AP Top 15 team on the road or in a neutral-site game (0-11), but the Badgers are no longer even ranked after suffering a disappointing loss to Notre Dame.

Michigan has never won a game with Harbaugh as an underdog (0-11). So, this is a line to follow throughout the rest of the week. The Wolverines have failed to cover four of their past six games as an underdog. They have gone 2-5-1 as road favorites at a touchdown or less.

Wisconsin has gone 10-15 under Paul Chryst against ranked foes, but he has had success against Michigan. The Badgers are 5-2 in their past seven games against the Wolverines. Wisconsin has covered in six of its past seven games against Michigan, dating back to 2009.

Those are your odds for this Big Ten matchup, but it is now time to discuss your keys to victory.

Why Michigan Wins

Michigan has an elite defense thanks to staying ahead of the chains. They allow the fourth-fewest points per game in the nation at 11.8. They have taken care of the ball and been able to run downhill on the opposition.

They only rank No. 116 in passing offense, but Hasaan Haskins and Blake Corum have done their part in the rushing department. The tandem in the backfield has been fantastic, which has taken the pressure off their passing game. Losing Ronnie Bell in the season-opener was expected to take a hit to the offense, but they haven’t suffered too much.

While they may not light it up on offense, their defense has dominated.

Aidan Hutchinson picked up a sack over Rutgers. He could be one of the better defenders in the country. He has players around him that should find success too. Donovan Jeter is stout on the line, but linebacker Josh Ross is one of their more experienced performers in the front seven.

The secondary has studs, Daxton Hill and Brad Hawkins, which allows them to be ready for Wisconsin’s offense. The Badgers will try to stay balanced, but the Wolverine defense can turn them into a one-dimensional offense. Harbaugh would love nothing more than winning an ugly one on the road.

Why Wisconsin Wins

The Badgers can muck it up and find ways to win if they can avoid another disastrous fourth quarter. They had the Fighting Irish right where they wanted them until it all fell apart.

They led 13-10 and allowed a kick return for a score that changed the game all around. That game certainly got away from everybody on the Wisconsin roster, especially Graham Mertz.

Mertz has capable options in the passing game that can move the ball against most solid defenses. The passing attack needs to set up the production for the ground game.

Chez Mellusi couldn’t get much going on the ground, but Jake Ferguson, Danny Davis, and Kendric Pryor could expose the Wolverine secondary.

This offense is not nearly as bad as it has played this season. The inability to take care of football has been pivotal.

Their defense is top-notch and has star linebacker, Jack Sanborn. Wisconsin ranks third in the FBS, allowing a lowly 210.3 yards per game. Due to the offensive turnovers, the defense does not rank in the Top 50 for scoring defense. They will feast in a matchup where Michigan will be conservative and attempt to establish the line of scrimmage.

As long as we don’t see turnovers in the red zone or near the goal-line, this team has the goods to defend its home turf. Camp Randall Stadium will be rocking to knock off Harbaugh and Michigan.

Michigan vs. Wisconsin Prediction

How good is Michigan? Many have questions, and the passing attack has not been productive. The point total seems like a lock for the under, but special teams and turnovers can impact the total number (see Wisconsin last week).

I love the Badgers in this spot at home, with their backs against the wall.

They are out of the CFP picture, but they can still win the West division. Another loss would end their aspirations to head to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title. This B1G matchup won’t be pretty, but give me the Badgers to pull off this slight upset at home.

Michigan vs. Wisconsin Pick

This game will likely generate a ton of betting from the public. Michigan has been playing well overall. The Badgers keep losing, so this number could change one way or another going into kickoff.

The Badgers have only been a home underdog twice since 2010. Wisconsin knocked off the top-ranked Buckeyes in 2010 when they were atop the polls. In 2016, the Badgers lost in double-overtime when Ohio State was number two in the country.

I would wait on the moneyline or jump on that as soon as you can from other outlets if Sports Betting AG does not post one later in the week. So, the pick, for now, is to take Wisconsin with the points at home.

Pick
  • Wisconsin (+1)
    -114

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