Michigan looks to end Wisconsin’s undefeated season today at Camp Randall. According to OddsShark, Wisconsin is favored by 7.5 points, and the over-under is set at 40 points.
The Badgers are a perfect 10-0, while the team has gone 6-4 against the spread. Michigan is 8-2 this season, and 4-5-1 against the spread. The Wolverines games have been split down the middle when it comes to the point total with five games in both the over and under category. Wisconsin’s games have trended towards the over with seven out of ten games hitting the over.
Wisconsin is ranked No. 5 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings while Michigan moved into the most recent Top 25 at No. 24. The Badgers are knocking on the door to be one of the four teams competing for a national title.
Here’s a look at what the numbers tell us about both teams, how the teams match up and our prediction for the Big Ten marquee game.
By the Numbers
Wisconsin ranks 18th in total points per game with 36.3 points, while Michigan is 64th with 27.9 points. Wisconsin’s has relied on their 15th ranked rushing attack with 245.4 rushing yards a game. Freshman Jonathan Taylor has been a force running the ball with 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Michigan’s offense has looked much better since making the switch to Brandon Peters at quarterback. The Wolverines are averaging 34.3 points in those three games, a significant rise from their season’s average of 27.9 points. Peters is not putting up crazy numbers, but he has yet to throw an interception while completing 60.9 percent of his passes.
The OddsShark computer expects a Badgers victory, projecting a 34.0-24.8 Wisconsin win. The computer is taking Wisconsin to cover the spread, and the over on the point total.
Wisconsin ranks No. 3 in SB Nation’s S&P+ rankings while Michigan sits at No. 16, much higher than their rankings by the committee. The S&P+ computer projects a 28.2-18.3 Wisconsin victory, and gives the Badgers a 71.6 percent chance of winning.
How They Got Here
Wisconsin has been criticized for the lack of quality teams on their schedule. The Badgers strength of schedule has improved after their 38-14 win over Iowa as Wisconsin ranks 63rd in the Sagarin strength of schedule. In addition to Iowa, Wisconsin has wins over Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue and Indiana.
Michigan is coming off a 35-10 win over Maryland. The Wolverines also have wins over Florida, Indiana and Purdue. The Wolverines lost to Michigan State and Penn State. Michigan has the 56th ranked schedule in the Sagarin ratings.
Wisconsin’s final regular season game is against Minnesota, then likely is headed to the Big Ten title game in two weeks.
By not making mistakes, Peters is doing enough behind center to allow Michigan to compete in games. Look for Michigan to keep the game close, but Wisconsin has too much offensive firepower for the Michigan offense to be able to keep up. We expect the Badgers to eek out a close win over Michigan.
Heavy’s Pick: Wisconsin 27 Michigan 23. Michigan Covers +7.5 Spread. Over on the Point Total.