Michigan +7.5 4.4% Play
I don't want to get caught up in the strength of schedule here, but there is a difference in strength of schedules, and I think Michigan actually matches up well here against Wisconsin. Last year it was a 14-7 victory for Michigan, and this team is not looking ahead to Ohio State. Jim Harbough needs a big win like this, and I think his team at this point is a bit under rated given their rank. They lose a fluke game against Michigan State, a game that they lost by 4 points, but had a -5 TO margin ratio. If you are -5 TO's you expect to lose b y much more in my opinion.
For Wisconsin they just don't have the offense in my opinion to outscore and cover a large spread against a top 5 defense. Wisconsin just lost their best WR for the season in Sephus, and their QB Hornibrook has thrown 12 interceptions and is really average with below average arm strength. Their Heisman hopeful Johnathan Taylor actually has 6 fumbles on the year. Wisconin has faced just 1 team in the top 65 in yards per play offense and that was Florida Atlantic before they were a dominant offense back in week 2. Michigan ranks 71st, but they have played a slew of top 50 defenses. Michigan's offense is actually playing with confidence right now and over their last 3 games have averaged 6.7 yards per play which would actually put them 11th in the country. While, Wisconsin actually ranks 26th overall with 6.2, but over their last 3 games they are averaging 5.2 which would actually put them 90th. Brandon Peters has taken over at QB and has looked far better than O'Korn and Speight, but when you look at Michigan is really a mirror image of what Wisconsin is and likes to do.
Both teams run the ball 60% of the time, and are supported by below average QB's, and lean on their defense to pick up the win. Both defenses are top 5, and Wisconsin has faced some good defenses, but nothing to this caliber. They have been able to wear defenses and offensive lines down this season, but I just don't see it happening here. Actually when looking at offensive and defensive line adjusted yards Michigan ranks 11th and 10th on the DL & OL while Wisconsin comes in 43rd, and 20th. Michigan also has a major advantage in both areas in power success rate. That's a huge advantage here as it's supposed to also be windy. Michigan's QB Peters has the better arm, he has the better athletes and so far he's taken care of the ball as well. Neither team protects their QB well. Michigan ranks #1 in getting to the QB in the nation while Wisconsin is right there so again another area where these two teams are very much even. At the end of the day it's a lot of pressure for Wisconsin that I think they can handle, but this is just too many points. Jim Harbough has lost 8 games since coming to Michigan. 6 of the 8 games were by 7 or less points. Wisconsin really not a team that blows you out unless they are getting turnovers which they have been able to secure the last two games forcing Indiana & Iowa into late game turnovers. Michigan has only turned the ball over 14 times this year with only 5 on the road. They have played 5 games since their game against Michigan State where they turned the ball over 5 times. In their last 5 games they have turned the ball over a total of 2 times.
Subscribe on iTunes