Everyone expected the Michigan Wolverines to take some positive steps this season because of the arrival of elite head coach Jim Harbaugh, I don’t think there’s a college football fan or betting enthusiast anywhere that expected the Northwestern Wildcats to become a Top 20 team at any point in the foreseeable future.
No matter. The Wildcats and Wolverines have both far exceeded their expectations so far and now, the Big Ten rivals will square off in an intriguing pairing that could be the most competitive game on the entire Week 6 docket.
Now, let’s find out which one of these playoff hopefuls will strike pay dirt in this Big Ten battle!
A Closer Look At How To Bet The No. 14 Northwestern Wildcats vs. No. 21 Michigan Wolverines College Football Week 6 Line
What: No. 13 Northwestern Wildcats (5-0) at No. 18 Michigan Wolverines (4-1)
When: Saturday, October 10th, 2015
Kickoff: 3:30 PM ET
Where: Ann Arbor, MI
Stadium: Michigan Stadium
Weather: 63° F | Scattered Clouds
Spread: Michigan -8
Moneyline: Northwestern +260 vs Michigan -320
Game Total: 35
Watch: Big Ten Network
Stream: Big Ten Network
Listen: Northwestern vs Michigan
Bet The Northwestern Wildcats +8 Because…
The Wildcats can apparently shut anyone down!
Northwestern remained unbeaten by shutting out Minnesota 27-0 on Saturday to easily cash in as a 4.5-point home favorite despite getting just 128 passing yards from quarterback Clayton Thorson.
Northwestern got 120 rushing yards on 20 carries from running back Justin Jackson while Thorson added two rushing scores. In reality though, it was Minnesota’s overpowering defense that led them to victory once again.
The Wildcats held Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner to just 72 passing yards while simultaneously limiting the Gophers to just 74 rushing yards.
The Wildcats enter this Week 6 Big Ten battle as the proud owners of the nation’s stingiest defense. Northwestern ranks fifth in total defense, seventh against the pass and 26th against the run while limiting their opponents to an insane 7.0 points per game (1st). The Wildcats have held four of their five opponents this season to 10 points or less.
Bet The Michigan Wolverines at -8 Because…
They’re playing at home – and have an elite defense of their own!
Not to be outdone, Michigan enters this Week 6 matchup with the second best scoring defense in the nation (7.6 ppg) while allowing the second fewest offensive yards per game (184).
The Wolverines are coming off a 28-0 shutout against Maryland in Week 5 that saw them easily cover the college football betting line as a 13.5-point road favorite. Quarterback Jake Rudock had a solid game by completing 16 of 32 passes for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but like their counterparts in this Week 6 pairing, it was the Wolverines’ defense that led them to victory the last time out.
Michigan harassed Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe into a horrible three-interception day while limiting the Terrapins to a pitiful 1-for-17 (29%) day on third down.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
The Michigan Wolverines may be playing at home in this contest, but I don’t think they’re eight points better than Northwestern and apparently, a convincing 67 percent of the betting public agrees!
I know a lot of folks don’t know very much about Northwestern, but the Wildcats have proven to me that they are very real on the defensive side of the ball and can slow down even the most potent offense.
While I’m not prepared to pick the Wildcats to win outright, I also don’t see them losing by nine points in a matchup that has ‘classic field goal’ game written all over it.
Northwestern has gone 4-1 ATS in their last five games and a blistering 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
I know Michigan is 4-1 ATS in their last five home games against a team with a winning road record, but the road team in this series is 4-1 ATS in the last five meeting between these Big Ten rivals while the underdog has gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.
Only 43 percent of the betting public likes the Under 35 total points for this affair and I’m among those in the minority. With the Under going 6-2 in the last eight meetings between these teams and both programs holding the opposition to right around seven points per game, I think the Under I the way to go! My final score prediction is Michigan 14 Northwestern 10