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College Football Picks: Northwestern vs Michigan Vegas Odds, Prediction (Oct 23th)

  • Michigan enters game at 6-0
  • Wolverines ranked sixth in the country
  • Northwestern 3-3 so far in 2021

The Michigan Wolverines have won their first six games of the 2021 college football season. And with several top teams above them in the rankings losing in the first half of the year, the Wolverines are just a couple of spots out of the top four already.

This week, Michigan is a heavy favorite to move to 7-0, as they take on a 3-3 Northwestern team that has lacked consistency so far this season.

Northwestern Wildcats vs Michigan Wolverines Schedule

  • Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
  • When: Thursday, October 23, 12:00PM ET
  • How to Watch: FOX

Northwestern vs Michigan Vegas Odds

Game Preview

Northwestern Aims For First Win Streak

Northwestern is 3-3 on the year so far, having alternated wins and losses over the course of their first six games. Last week, the Wildcats got a win, beating a hapless Rutgers team at home by a score of 21-7. This week, Northwestern faces a much tougher challenge as they face a Michigan team that is better on offense and defense than any of the opponents Northwestern has faced thus far.

Oct 16, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Andrew Clair (11) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Andrew Clair (11) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

So far this season, Northwestern is allowing more yardage and more points per game than they are earning with their offense. They have yet to break 25 points in a game against a Power 5 opponent this season and could struggle to do so again when they face Michigan. With the Wolverines giving up an average of 15.5 points per game, nothing is likely to come easy for Northwestern here.

Michigan Looks to Stay Undefeated

Michigan’s last game came two weeks ago when they went to Lincoln and narrowly escaped against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a Saturday night contest. In Michigan’s 32-29 win over Nebraska, the Wolverines took a 13-0 lead in the second quarter and were outscored 29-16 the rest of the way. Against an offensively challenged Northwestern team, a similarly strong start for the Wolverines could be all that it takes for Jim Harbaugh’s team to build an insurmountable advantage.

Oct 9, 2021; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) hands off the ball to running back Hassan Haskins (25) during the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2021; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) hands off the ball to running back Hassan Haskins (25) during the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

If there is a concern for Michigan heading into this game, it is the lack of passing production from Cade McNamara. McNamara has thrown just five touchdown passes so far this season, which has worked against non-conference opponents and lower-tier Big Ten teams. It shouldn’t cost Michigan against Northwestern, but that could be a problem for the Wolverines before the end of the year.

College Football Picks Today:

Who will win tonight’s CFB game:

Michigan should be able to roll over Northwestern in this game and keep their undefeated season alive. Their defense is way more than Northwestern is used to, and way more than Northwestern can handle.

Michigan will move to 7-0 for the year, cover the spread, and set up a potential top-10 matchup against Michigan State for the week after, which will have huge Big Ten championship implications.

Expert Pick:

  • Michigan -23.5
Cole is really big into Major League Baseball, but really - the big four Pro US sports are his passion. Cole grew up a Yankees fan but married a Red Sox fan. It's tough around the house during those big games, but his hatred for the Red Sox has dissipated a little. Cole has a goal of seeing every Major League Baseball Stadium before the end of 2025!

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