Michigan vs. Wisconsin Odds, Preview, and Prediction: Wolverines Slim Favorites Over Badgers
Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
Michigan Wolverines Record: 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten
Wisconsin Badgers Record: 1-2, 0-1 Big Ten
The No.14 Michigan Wolverines will look to improve to 5-0 when they take on the Wisconsin Badgers, who are coming off a much-needed bye week to regroup after a slow start to the season.
Jim Harbaugh's side wasn't getting much attention in the preseason, but that's not the case anymore. The Wolverines are the surprise package of the Big Ten, unbeaten through five laps. Most recently, Michigan edged Rutgers 20-13 on Saturday. However, the game was much closer than the NCAAF odds had predicted. Michigan closed as the 20-point home chalk but failed to cover the hefty spread in the narrow win.
The Badgers were left shellshocked following a 41-13 upset by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Week 3. Wisconsin, the six-point closing favorites, led 13-10 at the start of the fourth quarter before the wheels came spectacularly undone. Four turnovers and a couple of pick-sixes swept the Badgers in a 31-point tidal wave of scoring by the Fighting Irish.
Books opened Michigan vs. Wisconsin odds on a delicate 1-point spread, signaling that there's little to separate these two Big Ten rivals, despite their contrasting fortunes in 2021. What's more surprising is the fact that Wisconsin was initially floated as the 1-point home chalk before the market did a 180-degree turn.
Michigan Wolverines Preview
Jim Harbaugh's brand of no-nonsense football underscores Michigan's solid start to the season. Some might call it boring, old-school, smash-mouth football; others would suggest it's efficient football.
This isn't a pass-happy offense that's going to dazzle with otherworldly throws and high-octane aerial assaults. Far from it. Words like toiling, laboring, hardworking spring to mind when watching Michigan's offense in action. The ground game is outstanding, and the defense is solid, both of which have played a large part in Michigan's success so far.
In all four games, the Wolverines never trailed once. Quickstarts and stoic defending have been the order of the day. Case in point: Michigan took the 20-3 halftime lead over Rutgers last Saturday. The second half was less glamorous as the offense flatlined. However, the defense held its ground, and the Wolverines took the 20-13 win. Quarterback Cade McNamara did most of the heavy-lifting in the first half, throwing for 156 yards. He finished the day with 9-of-16 for 163 yards.
Wisconsin Badgers Preview
The start to the season has been unforgettable for the (now) unranked Wisconsin, which includes losses to two ranked opponents. The Badgers opened the season with a 16-10 loss to Penn State and then lost the plot entirely in a 41-13 evisceration by Notre Dame.
In many ways, the Badgers shot themselves in the foot. Graham Metz's two pick-sixes and a couple of turnovers earlier in the fourth quarter led to the unthinkable blowout. These turnovers highlight some of the offensive issues the Badgers have, and if they don't sort those out sooner than later, they can bid farewell to their 2021 campaign.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers Odds
|Michigan||+115||+2||Over 43.5 (-110)|
|Wisconsin||-105||-2||Under 43.5 (-110)|
By the odds, it's apparent bookmakers expect a tight contest between the Wolverines and Badgers. Surprisingly, the books went to press with Wisconsin as the 1-point home chalk on Sunday, but the line flipped almost instantly.
Now, Michigan is the nominal 1-point road fave. The total opened on 43.5 points and has held firm so far. Given all the action and movement on the odds board, it won't be surprising if this game closes on a pick 'em line before the game kicks off on Saturday.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers Betting Preview
Michigan is 4-0 SU and 3-1-0 ATS with an average winning margin of 4.5 points and a +8.2-point differential versus the spread. The nominal 1-point spread, therefore, is within its wheelhouse. They have the form, the confidence, and the incentive to continue winning.
Wisconsin is 1-2 SU and ATS with an average losing margin of 2.3 points and a whopping -14.8 differential versus the spread. The nominal 1-point spread does seem overly optimistic given their record thus far. However, a week's rest to regroup might be just what the Badgers need to get back on track.
Early consensus betting shows a distinct lean towards Wisconsin to come through in this pivotal Week 5 showdown. But it's early days, and these betting trends could swing in favor of Michigan before kick-off.