Northwestern Wildcats vs Michigan Wolverines Game Preview and Prediction - 10/23/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 12:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 23, 2021
Venue:  Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Where to Watch:  Fox


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Point Spread:  NW +23.5, Michigan -23.5; Over/Under:  50.5 points
Bet365:  Point Spread:  NW +24, Michigan -24; Over/Under:  51 points
BetMGM:  Point Spread:  NW +23.5, Michigan -23.5; Over/Under:  51.5 points

Season Record

Northwestern Wildcats:  3-3 (5th place, Big Ten West)
Michigan Wolverines:  6-0 (2nd place, Big Ten East)
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Northwestern Wildcats vs Michigan Wolverines Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Northwestern Wildcats:  won at home on Oct. 16 against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 21-7.
Michigan Wolverines:  won on the road on Oct. 9 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers 32-29.

Northwestern Wildcats Analysis

Northwestern is coming into this game with a 3-3 record overall and they are 0-2 in their road games this college football season where they will be in this game. This will be their 4th conference matchup of the year and they are not off to a good start with a 1-2 record in their conference games this season. Their 2 losses came against the Michigan State Spartans and the Nebraska Cornhuskers while their 1 win came against Rutgers in their last game. They won that one in a game that they led from the start in and maintained that lead throughout the game. Ryan Hilinski played well in that game as he completed 18/33 passes for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns. Andrew Clair led the team in rushing with 63 yards and 1 touchdown on 13 carries while Evan Hull had 25 carries for 53 rushing yards. Stephon Robinson Jr. had a great game as he led the receivers with 115 yards on 5 receptions while Malik Washington was right behind with 84 receiving yards and 1 touchdown on 5 receptions. Adetomiwa Adebawore led the defense with 7 solo tackles and 1 sack while Bryce Gallagher was right behind with 7 solo tackles, 3 assisted ones, and 1 sack, and Chris Bergin was right behind him with 7 solo tackles and 2 assisted ones. Jeremy Meiser and Samdup Miler also had 1 sack each in that game. No one on the defense was able to come away with an interception in that one though. They have scored 131 points in their first 6 games averaging 21.8 PPG and they have allowed their opponents to score 143 points against them allowing 23.8 PPG. Their offense is averaging 374.7 YPG while their defense is allowing 413.3 YPG.

Michigan Wolverines Analysis

Michigan is coming into this college football game with a 6-0 record overall and they are 4-0 in their home games this season where they will be in this game. This will be the 4th conference matchup on their schedule this year and they are off to a very good start with a 3-0 record in their conference games this season. Their 3 wins came against Rutgers, the Wisconsin Badgers, and Nebraska in their last game. Cade McNamara actually had to throw the ball quite a bit in that game as they had to make a late comeback, something we have not seen too much of from him this year. He struggled passing the ball but still played alright for the most part as he completed 22/38 passes for 255 yards, zero touchdowns and 1 interception. Hassan Haskins had a nice day on the ground as he led the team  in rushing with 123 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries while Blake Corum had 89 yards rushing and 1 touchdown on 13 carries. Daylen Baldwin led the receivers with 64 yards on 6 receptions and Mike Sainristil had 52 receiving yards on 2 receptions. Brad Hawkins led the defense with 4 solo tackles and 1 assisted one while Nikhai Hill-Green was right behind him with 4 solo tackles. No one on the defense recorded a sack in that game and Daxton Hill came away with the 1 interception for them. They have scored 231 points in their first 6 games averaging 38.5 PPG and they have allowed their opponents to score 93 points against them allowing 15.5 PPG. Their offense is averaging 440.5 YPG while their defense is allowing 309 YPG.


Northwestern vs Michigan Prediction

Michigan is coming in as a 23.5 point favorite with the point total set at 50.5 with the current betting odds according to Draftkings Sportsbook. Michigan is scoring a lot of points on offense as they average almost 40 per game but they are not throwing the ball a lot in their games, they are just running right over their opponents with their talented running backs and quarterback. Not only are they scoring a lot of points with this run-heavy offense, but they are allowing less than 3 scored from their opponents per game. Their defense is the real deal and is what is making them a serious contender for the college football playoffs as they currently rank 6th in the nation. Northwestern is the complete opposite though, their defense is allowing a lot of points against them but their offense is not scoring a whole lot. Michigan is going to come into this game and show everyone why they should be taken seriously. The best bet to place in this game is on Michigan to cover the spread and on the under.
Northwestern Michigan Prediction:  Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, October 23, 2021 (12:00 pm ET start time) is Michigan 35 NW 7.
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NCAAF Betting Trends

Northwestern Wildcats: 183-162 ATS in all games. 121-93 ATS as an underdog. 65-43 ATS as a road underdog. 89-61 ATS in road games. 128-108 ATS against conference opponents.
Michigan Wolverines: 163-189 ATS in all games. 126-149 ATS as a favorite. 82-87 ATS as a home favorite. 90-98 ATS in home games. 108-123 ATS against conference opponents.

Key Injuries

Northwestern Wildcats:  A. Marty (QB) Ques Sat - Upper Body injury. S. Gerak (OL) Ques Sat - Knee injury. T. Pugh (TE) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury.
Michigan Wolverines:  R. Wilson (WR) Ques Sat - Wrist injury. R. Bell (WR) out for season - Knee injury.

Players to Watch

Northwestern Wildcats: Stephon Robinson Jr. is one player to watch in this contest. He leads his team in receiving yards this season. He is coming off of anice game where he led the team in receiving yards with over 100 in that game. His team will likely be playing from behind in this game and will have to throw the ball a lot to catch up so look for him to make some big catches down the field and get in the end zone to help his team score in this one.
Michigan Wolverines: Blake Corum is one player to watch in this game. He leads his team in rushing yards and in touchdowns scored this season. He did not lead the team in rushing in their last game and did not even get a majority of the carries. He is one of their biggest playmakers so look for them to get the ball in his hands more in this game.

Notable Quotes

"Really proud of the squad. The way they bounced back this game and these last couple weeks. I thought they put a ton of work in to get better fundamentally. We were able to carry our preparation over into the game." - Pat Fitzgerald on his team’s performance in their win over Rutgers in their last game.
"In this environment, that showed a lot of poise and moxie by our guys. There's no doubt that they wanted to storm the field, tear down the goalposts. Not on our guy's watch tonight. That was pretty cool." - Jim Harbaugh on how his team reacted being down late with 87,000 Husker fans screaming at them in their win over Nebraska in their last game.

Starting Lineups

Northwestern Wildcats
WR Washington, Malik 
WR Bryce Kirtz 
WR Robinson Jr., Stephon 
TE Mangieri, Charlie 
QB Hilinski, Ryan 
RB Hull, Evan 
Michigan Wolverines
WR Baldwin, Daylen 
WR Johnson, Cornelius JR
WR Sainristil, Mike 
TE All, Erick 
QB McNamara, Cade 
RB Haskins, Hassan 

Statistical Leaders

Northwestern Wildcats
Passing: R. Hilinski (645)
Rushing: E. Hull (562)
Receiving: S. Robinson Jr. (424)
Touchdowns: E. Hull (4)
Sacks: A. Adebawore (3.5)
Tackles: C. Bergin (42)
Michigan Wolverines
Passing: C. McNamara (986)
Rushing: B. Corum (610)
Receiving: C. Johnson (282)
Touchdowns: B. Corum (8)
Sacks: A. Hutchinson (4.5)
Tackles: N. Hill-Green (23)
Northwestern Wildcats: Pat Fitzgerald (16th season)
Michigan Wolverines: Jim Harbaugh (7th season)

Weather Forecast

55 degrees F partly cloudy, 66% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 8 mph wind speeds NW.

Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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