NCAAF Odds, Picks for Rutgers vs. Michigan

NCAAF Odds, Picks for Rutgers vs. Michigan article feature image

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Corum (Michigan)

Rutgers vs. Michigan Odds

Saturday, Sept. 23
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Rutgers Odds
-105o / -115u
Michigan Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines open Big Ten play with a visit from Greg Schiano and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

While the Wolverines have dominated this matchup in the past, both programs enter the game at 3-0, and the Scarlet Knights actually have the far better resume.

Rutgers already has a conference win under its belt and added a second Power Five victory last weekend when it defeated Virginia Tech, 35-16. This isn't to suggest that the Scarlet Knights will beat Michigan on Saturday afternoon, but it's clear that Rutgers is in a decent spot as a program.

With that said, let's take a closer look at the odds — along with a betting pick and prediction — for Michigan vs. Rutgers below.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The 2023 Scarlet Knights aren't a doormat. Rutgers has won every game by at least 17 points in its 3-0 start, and its defense has been incredibly stingy by allowing just 10 points per game.

It starts with the run game for the Scarlet Knights, who are averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 210.7 rushing yards per game.

While running back Kyle Monangai takes the bulk of the load, quarterback Gavin Wimsatt is a great second threat on the ground and a big reason why Rutgers' option offense has been so successful early this season.

Gavin Wimsatt said 🏃🏽‍♂️💨

— CFBTalkDaily (@CFBTalkDaily) September 16, 2023

The Scarlet Knights' run game has been working so well that Wimsatt hasn't had to do much through the air. The junior signal-caller has only completed 51.5% of his throws for 407 yards so far, and as a result, Rutgers is all the way down at 107th in Passing Success Rate.

However, Wimsatt will need a decent passing performance for the Scarlet Knights to have any chance of competing against a stingy Wolverines defense.

Defensively, Rutgers is off to a wonderful start. Action Analytics considers the Rutgers defense to be above average in most metrics and ranks the unit 14th in Havoc Created and eighth in Quality Drives Allowed.

Is some of that due to facing weak competition early on? Sure, but for years Rutgers was the weak competition other teams feasted on, so it's clear the program is making real progress on defense.

This team is flying around with 10 sacks and 20 passes defensed already.

Michigan Wolverines

Jim Harbaugh's self-imposed suspension is over as Michigan's head coach will finally be back on the sidelines at the Big House. In his absence, the Wolverines have chugged along, beating their first three Group of Five opponents by an average score of 32-5.3.

Blake Corum is having another great season with 254 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while Roman Wilson has contributed to the passing game with 209 receiving yards and six scores.

Quarterback J.J. McCarthy is completing 82.4% of his throws for 701 yards and seven touchdowns, which is fine, except for his three interceptions.

All three came last Saturday against Bowling Green, and all three were clearly McCarthy's fault — there were no miscommunications or weird bounces.

2nd interception of the night for JJ McCarthy…

— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) September 17, 2023

Will this bleed into the Rutgers game? Probably not to the tune of three interceptions, but he still put bad decisions on tape, and that could bite Michigan against a good defense like Rutgers.

Nonetheless, the Wolverines' defense should handle the Scarlet Knights' offense no matter what. Michigan has future pros everywhere on that side of the ball, and the production is evident in the statistics and Action Analytics' rankings.

The Michigan defense has given up 16 total points through three games and ranks among the top five in Finishing Drives and Quality Drives Allowed.

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Rutgers vs Michigan

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Rutgers and Michigan match up statistically:

Rutgers Offense vs. Michigan Defense
Rush Success6919
Line Yards6910
Pass Success10745
Finishing Drives142
Quality Drives714
Michigan Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
Rush Success6196
Line Yards4465
Pass Success636
Finishing Drives6837
Quality Drives358
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling956
PFF Coverage2812
Special Teams SP+5210
Middle 84818
Seconds per Play30.4 (117)31.7 (131)
Rush Rate66.3% (5)56.9% (33)

Rutgers vs Michigan

Betting Pick & Prediction

It's hard to know what to expect from Michigan after its easy non-conference schedule. Even though the Wolverines won every game comfortably, the offense never had a dominant game and McCarthy made mistakes against Bowling Green.

That's why it's a little puzzling that Michigan is a 24-point favorite over Rutgers. The Wolverines' high-level offensive firepower hasn't shown itself to warrant that high of a spread, and the Scarlet Knights have a strong defense.

Furthermore, these are two of the slowest offenses in the country, so the Wolverines could completely smother Rutgers and still not win by 24 points due to a lack of possessions.

The Scarlet Knights aren't a disaster anymore, and while they have a minuscule chance of actually winning this game, their defense should keep the score relatively close.

Pick: Rutgers +24.5 (Bet to +24)
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