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Is the Week 7 Spread Too Big For The Wolverines?

Both Michigan and Wisconsin are undefeated in conference play as the No. 12 and No. 15 teams in the AP rankings hook up at Michigan Stadium in prime time Saturday night. They are third and fourth respectively in the Big Ten and this weekend’s game will go a long way to determining how things shake out in the conference this season.

SHARK BITES
  • Wisconsin is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs Michigan.
  • The total has gone OVER in six of Michigan’s last seven games at home (avg. combined score: 55.57).
  • Wisconsin is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games on the road vs teams with winning records.

Wisconsin vs Michigan Game Center

Ridiculous Stretch for Wolverines

There’s no way that Michigan could ever look past Wisconsin, but in the back of their minds, you know that coaches and players are looking at the next three weeks with anticipation and potentially the formation of a lump in the throat.

In Week 8, the Wolverines will meet their rivals from Michigan State at the Big House before hosting Penn State the following week. It’s literally make-or-break time for the Wolverines and it all starts with Wisconsin.

How Do These Teams Stack up?

The Badgers and Wolverines have just one mutual opponent, Nebraska. Wisconsin beat the Cornhuskers at home this past week 41-24, while Michigan handled them 56-10, also at home.

Michigan is the top defensive team in the country based on yards per game surrendered by their defense. Jim Harbaugh’s team is keeping opponents to just 231 yards per game on average. 

Let’s look at some more categories to see if there’s an edge between these teams (FBS rank in parenthesis):

  StatMichiganWisconsin
Points Per Game38.2 (30th)33.8 (45th)
Points Allowed Per Game15.8 (10th)16.2 (12th)
Passing Yards Per Game220.8 (81st)193.2 (102nd)
Rushing Yards Per Game199.8 (42nd)287.0 (4th)
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game134.0 (1st)219.6 (54th)
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game96.5 (6th)130.2 (42nd)
Interceptions5 (T-44th)4 (T-66th)
Fumble Recoveries1 (T-116th)5 (T-30th)

As we can see in the above table, the fourth-ranked rushing game of the Badgers vs the sixth-ranked rush defense of the Wolverines is the key matchup of this game. 

My Pick For This Game

All signs are pointing to a close game on Saturday and that’s why College Gameday is going to Ann Arbor for this tilt. Even though Wisconsin has only covered the spread once this season, it was on the road and it was the only game where the Badgers weren’t a big favorite. This will be their first game as an underdog in 2018 and I think we see them cover the nine points.

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