Northwestern Wildcats (3-3) vs. Michigan Wolverines (6-0)
October 23, 2021 12:00 pm EDT
The Line: Michigan Wolverines -21 ; Over/Under: 49.5
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The Michigan Wolverines meet the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday in week 8 Big Ten college football action from Michigan Stadium. Northwestern is coming off a matchup versus Rutgers. In that game, the Wildcats managed a 14-point victory. As for the Wolverines, they had a bye last week. Michigan last played Nebraska in a three-point win. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Northwestern started out their season with a tough game against Michigan State, losing 38-21. After that it was a win over Indiana State 24-6, a loss to Duke 30-23, a win over Ohio 35-6 and a blowout loss to Nebraska 56-7 on October 2.
Last weekend versus Rutgers, Northwestern held the Knights scoreless in the second half during a 21-7 win. QB Ryan Hilinski logged 267 yards with two scores, and Andrew Clair led the rush on 63 yards and a TD from 13 carries.
Over on the Michigan side, they’ve been on a nice roll all season so far. The Wolverines have taken out Western Michigan 47-14, Washington 31-10, Northern Illinois 63-10, Rutgers 20-13, Wisconsin 38-17 and Nebraska 32-29 in succession to start the year at 6-0.
In the tight win over Nebraska back on October 9, the Wolverines coughed up 22 points in the third quarter but were still able to hang on. Michigan QB Cade McNamara finished on 255 yards with a pick. Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum did most of the work offensively with a combined 212 yards and three touchdowns.
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The Wildcats are 6-2 ATS in their last eight after a bye week and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 conference games. Northwestern is also 13-5-2 ATS in their last 20 in October.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last six games in October. Michigan is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after an ATS win as well.
PICK: I’m probably sticking with Michigan. The Wolverines had to breathe a sigh of relief after their toughest game of the year versus Nebraska. It was a tight matchup in most measurements; Michigan gave up 431 total yards and 7.2 yards per play to a pretty effective Cornhuskers offense. The Wolverines were able to keep the edge by causing two turnovers and collecting 26 first downs among their 81 total plays.
As for Northwestern, they had a pretty solid offensive day against Rutgers with 402 total yards, and also held the Knights to just 222 yards on the other side. The Wildcats also played a clean game with just four penalties and no turnovers. That said, if Michigan is on their game here I don’t think Northwestern will be able to keep up for long.