After everything was on the line in Ohio State last week, No. 2 Michigan finds itself in a position this Saturday where there’s not much to gain.
The Wolverines head to Lucas Oil Stadium at 8 p.m. Saturday to play in the Big Ten Championship.
An undefeated UM awaits a Purdue team sitting 8-4 on the season with everything to win and nothing to lose in this matchup.
Could the Wolverines be falling into a trap after such an emotional win last week in Columbus?
While a conference title is nice, most believe Michigan will be in the college football playoffs regardless of Saturday’s result.
Do oddsmakers think Michigan could be in line for an upset?
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Oddsmakers have Michigan as a three-point favorite
Although this game seems dangerous, the odds makers still expect Michigan to prevail with some comfort.
Most Michigan sportsbooks list the Wolverines as 16.5-point favorites, just in the three-point range.
When it comes to a moneyline (odds of winning the game outright), Michigan is listed at around -900 in most books. That means you have to bet $900 to win another $100.
Purdue is listed around +550 on most books. This means that a $100 bet on Purdue to win would pay out an additional $550.
The over/under total for Saturday’s game is 52 on most books.
Along with his 12-0 record, Michigan stands 7-4-1 against the distribution in the season. Purdue is 8-4 overall with a 5-7 record against the spread.
Michigan owns an all-time 45-14 record against Purdue while winning their last four encounters.
Edwards, McCarthy break out in Ohio state
Michigan was largely without leading rusher Blake Corum against Ohio State last week.
He left the game after two carries due to a knee injury.
However, Donovan Edwards and JJ McCarthy performed in his absence.
The second quarterback threw three touchdown passes, all for 45 yards or longer. He finished with 263 yards through the air and also added a quick touchdown.
Closer to the game, Edwards broke a 75-yard touchdown streak and an 85-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The West Bloomfield graduate finished the tournament with 216 rushing yards on 22 carries despite having his right hand partially in a cast.
It’s unclear what role Corum will play in Saturday’s game. While Michigan wants to win the Big Ten title, it also wants to avoid further injuries to its key players. Giving Corum another month to recover for the playoff semifinals would be an ideal scenario for the Wolverines.
Purdue appears to be a spoiler maker
Purdue makes its first appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Boilermakers are looking for their first conference title since 2000.
Given that Purdue has nothing to lose in this game, expect the Boilermakers to pull all the tricks from the book to try and win.
Head coach Jeff Brohm will look to challenge Jim Harbaugh, ranked 21st nationally, with a passing attack. The Boilermakers fly an average of 279.9 yards per game.
Senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell has thrown for 3,124 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. He has his best receiver in Charlie Jones, a senior who has 97 catches for 1,199 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2022.
Michigan’s defense has been one of the best in the country all season, allowing just 12.7 points and 262.2 yards per game overall.
Michigan’s second half defense was where it really shines. During the season, the Wolverines only allowed 20 points in the third quarter and 45 points in the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines have beaten their opponents 251-65 points in the second half of this season. Conversely, Purdue is only outperforming opponents 157-136 in the second half of this season.
Bettors stick to Michigan
Michigan continues to receive support from the public bettors entering Saturday’s competition.
Currently, BetMGM Sportsbook reports that the Big Ten Championship is the second most wagered event this weekend.
Michigan, a 16.5-point favorite, receives the second-highest stakes of any team. The Wolverines get 77 percent of the bets with the spread. This also accounts for 89 percent of the handle (total stake) in the market.
Not surprisingly, because of the high odds, Purdue gets 60 percent of the moneyline bets for Saturday’s game.
When it comes to the national championship, Michigan is listed at +300 on most sportsbooks to win it all this season. Only Georgia has better odds, sitting at around -160.
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