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How and what to watch for Michigan vs. Rutgers

It’s panic time for Jim Harbaugh. Can Michigan get its act together and handle Rutgers with ease?

Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Noah Vedral throws the ball as Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Deon Pate pass rushes during the second half at SHI Stadium. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The wheels are falling off for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines, but are things bad enough that the Rutgers Scarlet Knights have a shot to keep this one close at home?

Michigan enters this one with a 1-3 record after an embarrassing showing in a 49-11 home loss to Wisconsin, which hadn’t played a game in three weeks. The Wolverines aren’t getting much done on defense, but offensively they average 6.1 yards per play for 33rd best in college football. As bad as it has been in the eyes of just about everybody, Michigan ranks 27th in the most recent SP+ rankings.

On the other side, Rutgers has an identical 1-3 record after a 23-20 home defeat to Illinois. Offensively, it’s been a struggle for the Scarlet Knights, averaging 4.5 yards per play, which ranks 116th in the country, and the defense isn’t a whole lot better. Rutgers ranks No. 108 in SP+. Rutgers should improve moving forward under Greg Schiano, but Year 1 isn’t going well as should have been expected.

Michigan won the last five games of this series, including a 52-0 home win in 2019.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Michigan vs. Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, or you can stream it via the Fox Sports app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Michigan (-11.5) vs. Rutgers*
Point Total: 52*
Money line: Michigan (-420) vs. Rutgers (+350)*

* Game cannot be bet in some places at DraftKings Sportsbook because of New Jersey regulations.

  • Michigan is 1-5 straight up and against the spread in its last six games.
  • Michigan is 5-1 straight up in its six games against Rutgers and is 4-2 against the spread in that span.
  • Rutgers is 1-7 against the spread in its last eight games and 5-10 against the spread in its last 15.

Betting splits

Michigan: (58% of handle, 52% percent of bets)
Rutgers: (42% of handle, 48% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

As ashamed as I am to be doing this, I’m going with Michigan to cover this one and win by double digits. A loss would be devastating to Harbaugh and whatever his future is as the head man with the Wolverines. While the public is going after Rutgers, there are very few data points that say the Scarlet Knights are at the same level of Michigan from a numbers perspective. Please, Michigan. Win this one big and stop embarrassing yourselves.

Pick: Michigan -11.5

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