Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan Wolverines Betting Preview
For the first time in three weeks, we will see the Wisconsin Badgers in action on Saturday night. The favorites to win the Big Ten West at the start of the season have had to cancel their last two scheduled games due to COVID-19, so they will be playing just their second game. Wisconsin is traveling to the Big House to take on the Michigan Wolverines, and the Wolverines are in disarray after starting the season 1-2. This game will take place on Saturday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
College Football Betting Odds
The Wolverines were originally a three-point underdog per the college football betting odds, but that line has since shifted upwards. The home team has won each of the last four games in this series though, including last year when Wisconsin ran all over Michigan at Camp Randall in a 35-14 beatdown.
Michigan Offense vs. Wisconsin Defense
Joe Milton has been a mixed bag in his first three starts with the Wolverines. He has showcased some real promise, but his precision has ebbed and flowed. Milton hasn’t been exceptionally accurate since lighting up Minnesota’s porous defense in his debut, yet he has created some big plays in the passing game. Ronnie Bell has been his top target with 14 receptions for 269 yards and a touchdown.
The Wolverines are running the ball well at first glance. Milton is a dual-threat QB averaging 4.1 YPC, and both Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet are averaging more than 7.0 YPC. However, Haskins and Charbonnet have both seen their averages buoyed by long gains against Minnesota. In losses to Michigan State and Indiana, the two combined to run the ball 20 times for 82 yards.
Wisconsin has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten. The Badgers are something of an unknown this year since their only game was against lowly Illinois, but they completely stonewalled the Wolverines last year when Michigan was supposed to have its best offense yet under Jim Harbaugh
Wisconsin Offense vs. Michigan Defense
It looks like Graham Mertz will be ready to play on Saturday. Mertz tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after Wisconsin’s win over Illinois, leading to him and backup QB Chase Wolf being placed into quarantine for 21 days. This will be just the second start of his career as he is filling in for the injured Jack Coan. However, he is so highly regarded that the news updating his status helped push the line in Wisconsin’s favor.
The Badgers didn’t run the ball well against Illinois. Wisconsin averaged just 3.4 YPC, and this is a rebuilding year for the run game with so much talent along the offensive line gone along with Jonathan Taylor. Left tackle Cole Van Lanen and right guard Logan Bruss are the only players that have started more than four games coming into the season.
Don Brown has been heralded as one of the best defensive minds in college football for the last few seasons, but his defense has left a lot to be desired this year. The Wolverines have had a good run defense, but the cornerbacks haven’t played well. Michigan is allowing 287.3 YPG through the air, as Michigan State and Indiana were both able to throw all over them.
The under looks to be a decent play given the questions about Michigan’s offense and the potential struggles Wisconsin will face in the run game.