Rutgers vs Minnesota Odds, Picks, Prediction | Saturday Betting Preview
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Mohamed Ibrahim (Minnesota)
Rutgers vs Minnesota Odds
Minnesota is in search of its first Big Ten victory as it welcomes the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to Huntington Bank Stadium.
The Golden Gophers opened the season with four dominant victories, all coming by an average margin of 40 points.
But that success came to a harsh halt as the program entered conference play. Minnesota has lost its last three games by double digits.
Now the Gophers have an opportunity to right the ship against a Rutgers program going through similar struggles.
The Scarlet Knights won their first three games of the season before losing their first three Big Ten matchups. They responded last week with a comeback victory over Indiana.
The Golden Gophers' defense will have a chance to completely shut down the Rutgers offense, but will it be enough to cover as a two-touchdown favorite?
Rutgers' best chance at winning a Big Ten game came last week in its matchup against Indiana. Hope seemed slim after the Hoosiers went up 14-0 in the first quarter, but the Scarlet Knights battled back with 24 unanswered points and pulled out a victory.
But despite a new offensive coordinator at the helm and all the quarterbacks finally healthy, the offense still struggled.
Quarterback Noah Vedral played the whole game after returning from injury. In his two starts this season, he has completed just 46% of his passes while averaging 6.3 yards per attempt.
The program ranks outside the top 100 in nearly all passing categories in advanced metrics.
The little threat from the passing game has led the offense to lean on the rushing attack. Rutgers is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry against FBS opponents, though.
Moving the ball is going to be a monumental challenge against a Minnesota defense that ranks among the top 13 in points and yards per game.
The Rutgers defense has kept it competitive in games this season. The unit is allowing 24 points per game and only 4.8 yards per play. The defense will have to produce a dominant game if the Scarlet Knights want to keep this matchup close.
Minnesota is coming off of a 28-point loss to Penn State, which capped off its three-game losing streak.
But the Golden Gophers were without starting quarterback Tanner Morgan, who was ruled out after suffering a concussion against Illinois.
The Golden Gophers' offense wasn’t the same without their gunslinger under center. Morgan is averaging 9.4 yards per pass attempt while completing 67% of his passes. When he’s under center, defenses need to be prepared for the play-action pass.
The offense is reliant on the success of running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who is averaging 5.9 yards per carry this season. The senior running back has found pay dirt in every game this season, amounting 10 touchdowns in total.
He’s rushed for over 100 yards in all six games this season while averaging 132 per game.
The Minnesota defense has been stout in 2022, allowing 18 points and 310 yards per game. It will have little issue shutting down the lackluster Rutgers passing attack.
The Gophers will need to control the line of scrimmage against a run-heavy Rutgers offense.
In its four non-conference games, Minnesota held opponents to 62 rushing yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry. But since Big Ten play began, those numbers have jumped up to 4.8 yards per carry and 185 yards per game.
Rutgers vs Minnesota Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Rutgers and Minnesota match up statistically:
Rutgers Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Minnesota Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||41||66|
|Seconds per Play||28.8 (114)||30.7 (128)|
|Rush Rate||60.3% (20)||64.6% (9)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Rutgers vs Minnesota Betting Pick
This is a tough matchup for Rutgers, whose offense has been at the bottom of the Big Ten this season.
The Scarlet Knights are going to find no success through the air in this matchup. Vedral hasn’t looked great in his two starts this season, completing just 46% of his passes.
Now Vedral must match up against a Golden Gophers defense that ranks fourth in the nation in pass coverage, per PFF.
Rutgers’ offense has had 52 drives in its four games during conference play — 10 of those drives have resulted in points (five touchdowns and five field goals), while the remaining 42 drives have ended with a punt (27) or a turnover (15).
Minnesota’s offense is poised to bounce back in a big way with the return of Morgan. The Golden Gophers own one of the top rushing units in the country, which ranks 10th in Success Rate and seventh in Line Yards.
After the running game has been established, that opens things up for Morgan to take some deep shots down field.
Minnesota will jump out to an early lead, and this one will snowball into a blowout quickly.