Six Big Ten teams remain undefeated heading into Saturday with two of them going head-to-head.
For Michigan online sports betting, the matchup between Michigan and Rutgers means one team will incur its first loss of the season.
Rutgers (3-0) at No. 20 Michigan (3-0), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
In a rematch of Michigan’s thrilling 48-42 triple overtime win in Piscataway, New Jersey, last year, the Michigan Wolverines will play host to the Scarlet Knights in the Big House in the first conference matchup for both schools.
Michigan (3-0) is a prohibitive 18.5-point favorite among three sportsbooks (FanDuel, DraftKings Michigan, BetMGM Michigan).
On two moneylines, the Wolverines are listed at -1300 (FanDuel Michigan) and -1000 (DraftKings). Rutgers is a +730 (FanDuel) and +650 (DraftKings) moneyline underdog.
OT Thriller Last Year
Rutgers put together a 16-play, 75-yard drive over 4:40 to tie last year’s game with 27 seconds remaining as Noah Vedral found Aron Cruickshank on fourth and 9 for an 11-yard TD and then ran in for the tying two-point conversion to force overtime.
Vedral finished with a career-high 381 passing yards, eighth-most in a game by a Rutgers QB.
This year, Michigan leads the nation in rushing, averaging 350.3 yards per game, behind the duo of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards.
Quarterback Cade McNamara has been a steady force, leading the offense to 141 points in their first three games (all at home) and an average of 514.7 yards per game.
Michigan currently ranks among the top 10 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Wolverines rank No. 3 nationally in scoring offense averaging 47.0 points per contest, while ranking eighth in scoring defense, allowing just 11.3 points.
Rutgers on the Rise
Rutgers comes into Saturday’s game with three wins over non-conference opponents in Temple and Delaware at home and at Syracuse.
Vedral returns along with Cruickshank and two underrated players in running back Isaih Pacheco and wide receiver Bo Melton, all who have led the Scarlet Knights’ offense to 351 yards per game, while their defense is allowing 259.7.
Prediction: This is all about how far each team has come. Will Michigan’s success early on this season carry over to the conference and can Rutgers do the same but gain valuable confidence and respect under head coach Greg Schiano’s second go-around, now that he has some of his players in place? If last year was any indication of what’s to come this year, this game could be tight throughout. Look, Rutgers has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I’m giving the slight edge to Michigan here — but win or lose, Rutgers will gain confidence and respect within the conference and the nation after Saturday, with Ohio State and Michigan State visiting the Garden State later this year. Michigan 34, Rutgers 27.