Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Since becoming Big Ten foes, Michigan is 3-1 both straight up and against the spread against Rutgers, including a three-touchdown victory last season. The College Football Playoff-minded Wolverines are huge favorites for Saturday afternoon’s scrimmage with the Scarlet Knights in New Jersey.
College football point spread: The Wolverines opened as 36.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 45.7-0.0 Wolverines (College football picks on every game)
Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread
Michigan just ran its SU winning streak to eight and its ATS winning streak to four with a 42-7 pummeling of Penn State last week. The Wolverines drove their first possession of the game 76 yards to a touchdown, led 14-0 at the half, then pushed that advantage to 42-0 in the fourth quarter before allowing the Nittany Lions to score a meaningless touchdown with two minutes to go.
On the afternoon Michigan out-gained Penn State 403-186, out-rushed the Lions 259-68, won the turnover battle 3-0, held a 38-22 time of possession advantage and covered the spread as a 13-point favorite.
The Wolverines have now out-gained every opponent this season and out-rushed every foe except Notre Dame.
At 6-0 in conference play, Michigan leads the East Division by a game over Ohio State, and at 8-1 overall the Wolverines are rated No. 4 in the latest CFP rankings.
Why the Rutgers Scarlet Knights can cover the spread
Rutgers is a little tougher case to make, riding an eight-game losing streak. However, the Knights are 2-0 ATS their last two times out, after giving Wisconsin a decent game in a 34-17 loss last week.
Rutgers only trailed the Badgers 10-0 at the half and 24-10 well into the fourth quarter and, in the end, easily covered the spread as a 29-point dog.
On the day, the Knights posted 333 yards of total offense, more than 50 better than their season average coming in. They also converted on 10-of-20 third-down and fourth-down situations and did not commit a turnover.
Two weeks ago, Rutgers led the first-place team in the Big Ten West, Northwestern, 15-10 in the fourth quarter, lost 18-15 but covered easily as a 20-point dog.
Smart betting pick
The only thing that matters for this game is the measure of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s mercy, and that probably isn’t much. The Wolverines could win this game 70-0, and they may win it 50-0. But 40-0 would suffice. Smart money here gives the points with Michigan.
College football betting trends
Michigan is 3-1 ATS in its last four games vs Rutgers.
The total has gone over in Michigan’s last four games vs Rutgers.
Rutgers is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games at home vs teams with winning records.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.