Michigan football vs. Rutgers betting odds, spread and prediction


Michigan football is coming off an impressive 63-10 victory over Northern Illinois a week ago, which came on the heels of a prime-time 31-10 win over Washington.  Next on the docket for no. 19 ranked Michigan is the Rutgers Scarlett Knights.

Jim Harbaugh’s club averages 47 points per game through the first three weeks, ranking third-best in all college football.  That, along with yielding just 11.3 points per game against, ranks as the10th best in the country.

The stats are impressive but let’s not put the cart in front of the horse here.

Washington was supposed to be Michigan’s early-season test.  Washington has been a dreadful team in 2021, and the now unranked Huskies will likely be looked back upon as just another early cupcake victory for Michigan football to begin the season.

Michigan football’s offense has turned back the clock.

Michigan thrives on running the football with an elite ground and pound attack.  Entering the season, many fans and analysts hoped that this Michigan program created an identity after struggling to anything at an elite level during the Shea Patterson era.  We’ve asked; Harbaugh has delivered with this 1930s looking offense.

The Wolverines have a three-headed monster in the backfield led by their explosive sophomore, Blake Corum, who has rushed for 407 yards and seven touchdowns thus far in 2021.  Corum is also tied for the team lead in receptions with six.

Corum splits the backfield with senior Hassan Haskins, who is averaging 5.7 yards per carry this season, totaling 281 yards and four scores early on this season for the Wolverines.  Donovan Edwards is the third member of this group and someone Harbaugh would like to see more involved moving forward.  Edwards has totaled 117 yards on 15 totes plus has added two touchdowns.

The main concern surrounding the Wolverines to date is surrounding starting quarterback Cade McNamara.  Can McNamara, who has been rarely used over the first three contests, only having attempted 37 passes on the season, put together a game-winning drive when everything is on the line late in a ball game?

With Michigan’s top receiving threat, Ronnie Bell, out for the year with a serious leg injury, the Wolverines need to find a capable replacement.  Now is the time of year to get these young pass-catchers into a rhythm with their quarterback, not in late October or November.

I would feel a lot more comfortable if Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis made a conscious effort to get McNamara and the passing game more involved.  The offense has clearly established the run, but just running the ball against Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Penn State won’t be good enough.

Rutgers, similar to Michigan, enters the contest with a 3-0 record after victories over Temple, Syracuse, and Delaware.

Also similar to Michigan, Rutgers allows just 11.3 points per game while scoring a whopping 41.  This Rutgers program has been rejuvenated since the return of head coach Greg Schiano and may end up being somewhat of a trap game for Michigan when it comes to betting.

Michigan football odds, spread, and prediction.

The Wolverines enter the contest as nearly three-touchdown favorites on most betting platforms.  The Under/Over is set at 49.5 with odds around -110.

I believe Michigan football will win the ball game, but 21 points is a large spread when you consider the Wolverines are reluctant to throw the football, and Rutgers will be the best defense Michigan will play to date.

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I expect Michigan to win this game by about 17 points, and I’d also select the under on total points.  I am predicting a Michigan victory of 31-14 for a total of 45 points.