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Make Your Pick: Michigan Favored Big Over Northwestern

Northwestern always seems to play Michigan tough, but the bookmakers don't see it that way this time around.

Michigan is favored by a whopping 23.5 points over Northwestern, which is a huge number for a conference game even if it is against one of the worst teams in the league. Michigan has beaten the Wildcats by an average of just 4.75 points in four of their last five matchups, which makes the big number even harder to grab onto. 

Still, Michigan loves to run the ball and Northwestern is dead last in the Big Ten at stopping it, so we could see a repeat of some of U-M's early-season game plans, which resulted in blowout wins. Tomorrow's game feels a little tricky for Michigan, but not losable. Here's how we see it playing out.

Chris Breiler

There seems to be a concern among some within the Michigan fanbase that Northwestern is a trap game. It isn't. Coming off of a bye week, the Wolverines are well-rested and eager to to put another win in the column.

The bottom line in this one is that Northwestern struggles to stop the run and Michigan loves to run the football. It's a match made in heaven if you're Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

Leadership prevents a letdown against NW and Michigan will be going into East Lansing with a perfect 7-0 record.

Michigan 34, Northwestern 13

Brandon Brown

Northwestern is not a very good football team and they struggle to stop the run, which should make for a very long day for the Wildcats. Pat Fitzgerald and his teams are always pesky, and Jim Harbaugh knows and respects that, but U-M is just too good overall and too good at running the ball to lose this one.

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The 23.5-point spread feels a little too big, but I still think Michigan wins fairly easily. I expect to see the Wolverines make some big plays on both sides of the ball and eventually pull away comfortably.

Michigan 34, Northwestern 13

Jacob Cohen

With No. 6 Michigan coming off a bye week and gearing up for a potential top-ten matchup in East Lansing on Oct. 30, there is not much attention on this week’s game against Northwestern. The Wildcats are 3-3, boasting only one win in the Big Ten, and this game is about as much of a look-ahead as you could possibly create.

The Wolverines’ chances Saturday depend entirely on their ability to brush off any rust from their off week and stay focused on the task at hand. Some early game lapses are to be expected, but the way in which Michigan bounces back from a slow start will define this game, assuming the Wolverines are slow or sloppy out of the gate. Ultimately, I think it won’t be an issue by the fourth quarter. 

Michigan 31, Northwestern 17

Josh Taubman

Michigan is back from the bye week and ready to keep rolling. Last year’s Northwestern squad that won the Big Ten West would’ve made for an interesting challenge for the Wolverines. But that’s not the case this year. The Wildcats are 3-3 and have just one win in conference play.

Past Michigan teams might try to sleepwalk through this game with too much focus on next week’s colossal matchup in East Lansing, but this coaching staff will have the team up for this game and I expect the Wolverines to have no trouble disposing of Northwestern. In their first home game in a month, I think Michigan’s ground attack will be in full effect and JJ McCarthy will get some significant playing time in the second half. Michigan goes to 7-0 and sets up an undefeated battle with the Spartans next Saturday.

Michigan 38, Northwestern 10