Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Michigan Wolverines (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS)
NCAA Week 10
Date/Time:Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. ET
Where: Michigan Stadium
by Jerbeek, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Minn +15.5/Mich -15.5
Over/Under Total: no line
The Minnesota Golden Gophers will travel to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines in the Big House on Saturday night. Minnesota has struggled recently losing 4 of their last 5 games after getting off to a 3-0 start under 1st year head coach PJ Fleck. Michigan is coming off a 35-14 win over Rutgers but has lost 2 of their last 4 essentially knocking them out of the Big 10 Conference race and ending their Playoff aspirations.
The Gophers are led by Sophomore QB Demry Croft who took over the QB duties in week 7 from Conor Rhoda. Since taking over Croft has only completed 42.1% of his passes for 412 yards. He has thrown for 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions but he has ran for 159 yards and a touchdowns. The leading RB is Rodney Smith who averages 4.1 yards per carry and has amassed 627 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Tyler Johnson is the leading receiver with 591 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Michigan has had their own QB struggles and last week and turned over the reins to Redshirt Freshman Brandon Peters. Peters replaced struggling senior John OKorn during last weeks 35-14 win over Rutgers. Peters was 10/14 for 124 yards and 1 touchdown in relief. It appears that Peters will be the starter this week but Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has not officially announced a starter yet. RB Karan Higdon leads the Wolverines in rushing with 604 yards and 8 touchdowns. The leading receiver is Grant Perry with 285 yards and 1 touchdown.
Minnesota has rushed for 4.1 yards against teams that average 4.1 yards per attempt. They have passed for 6.8 yards per attempt against teams that average 6.9 yards. Overall their struggles are apparent as they have only averaged 5.0 yards per play against teams that give up an average of 5.4 yards per play.
Michigan has rushed for 4.4 yards against teams that average 4.3 yards per play. They have passed for 6.8 yards per attempt against teams that average 6.9 yards per attempt. Overall they are averaging 5.4 yards per play against teams that average giving up 5.4 yards per play.
On defense, Minnesota has given up 4.1 yards per rushing attempt against teams that average 4.1 yards. In the passing game they have given up 5.9 yards per attempt against teams that average 6.9 yards. Overall they have given up 5.0 yards per play against teams that average 5.4 yards.
The Wolverine defense has been very stingy on the ground giving up only 3.2 yards per rush against teams that average 4.0 yards. In passing the Wolverines have given up 5.7 yards per attempt against teams that average 6.7 yards. Overall the defense has given up 4.3 yards per play against teams that average 5.4 yards.
Jerbeeks Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I look for the Michigan defense to dominate in this game. Minnesota has really struggle passing this year and the QB change has not helped as Croft is completing well under 50% of his passes. I expect the Wolverine offense to have a bit of a rejuvenation with the new QB and thing they will jump on the Gophers early and force Minnesota to play catch up in a role that they do not seem capable of being successful. I think this game could be a blowout if Michigan offense can perform even satisfactorily and I predict a 42-17 win for the Wolverines. My recommendation is to play the Michigan Wolverines minus the 15.5 points. – If you went to the store and on the shelf was the exact same product, one for $110 and one for $105 which would you buy? The cheaper one of course! So why would you pay -110 odds on your bets instead of -105? Start betting at discounted odds today at 5Dimes!