In the first release of the College Football Playoff rankings, the Michigan Wolverines came in ranked 4th in the country and will now head to Rutgers this weekend for a Big 10 conference game. The Wolverines will look to continue their undefeated season and come in this week as heavy favorites against the Scarlet Knights. We’ll start with a breakdown of the game and then get into the betting information along with my pick for the game.
Michigan enters this week with an (8-0) record and fresh off a 29-7 win over their rival Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights are searching for their second conference win this season and have an overall record of (4-4) entering Saturday.
The success of Michigan has been no surprise due to their dominance on the defensive side of the ball. The Wolverines come into this week only allowing an average of 11.5 points per game which is second in the country and they lead the country in yards allowed per play with an average of 3.9 yards. It’s one of the deepest defenses in the country and will be a tough matchup for Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt.
Defensive dominance has allowed Wolverines quarterback JJ McCarthy to play with a lead and rely on running back Blake Corum to run all over their opponent's defense. We’ll see if the Rutgers defense which has been solid in stopping the run this season is up for the challenge of Corum.
Offensively for the Scarlet Knights, they will be led by Gavin Wimsatt at quarterback. The young QB has a lot of talent but has only attempted 39 passes this season so running back Samuel Brown V will have to help attack this top-ranked Michigan defense. Wimsatt has the ability to run so the Rutgers offensive line will have to play the best they have this season in order to let their young quarterback create long drives.
The Wolverines are currently (-25.5) point favorites on the road and the point total for this game is set at 45. I think the best play in this game is the over of 45 points as the Wolverines have the opportunity to hang a crooked number on the Scarlet Knights.
In the last 8 meetings between these teams, the over is 7-1 and it is 4-0 when the teams play in Piscataway. I expect this trend to continue as I don’t believe the Rutgers defense can contain McCarthy or Corum so the game could get out of hand quickly. This is a game I think Michigan can cover this number by themselves and put up 50 plus points.
I think Wimsatt is a very talented player as well and has the ability to at least lead one scoring drive which, might be all that is needed if the Wolverines offense continues to score at will. The value of this game lies in the over for me and will be what I’m rolling with.