The Michigan Wolverines will continue their pursuit of a Big Ten championship Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET) when they host the Purdue Boilermakers.
Since lines opened, money continues to pour in on the second-ranked Wolverines, who are now 32.5-point favorites (-105). Conversely, Purdue is +32.5 on the spread. The projected total is 50.5 (-110 Over, -110 Under), up a tick from 49.5.
Read on as we break down both NCAAF teams and evaluate the Purdue vs Michigan point spread.
Date/Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Michigan Stadium; Ann Arbor, MI.
The Purdue Boilermakers are 2-6 against the spread this college football season, including 1-4 in their last five games against Big Ten Conference opponents. The total has gone Over in four of Purdue’s last eight games. Conversely, the Michigan Wolverines are 4-3-1 ATS, including 4-0-1 over their previous five ncaa football games. The total has gone Over in four of Michigan’s last five games. That’s important to remember when assessing the Purdue vs Michigan point spread.
National Title or Bust for Michigan
So far, so good for the Michigan Wolverines, who remain on the short list of national championship contenders at 8-0. Ranked No. 2 in the AP poll, the Wolverines have climbed from +900 to +250 co-favorites with Georgia on the college football national championship odds board.
The Wolverines pummeled rival Michigan State 49-0 prior to a Week 9 bye. A 25.5-point favorite, they stormed to a 28-0 halftime lead and comfortably covered the spread for the fourth straight game.
While accusations of sign stealing hover around the program, the Wolverines don’t appear to be slowing down. Their eight wins have come by an average of 34.7 points. Only one opponent has managed to score double digits. They’re ranked first in FBS in scoring defense (5.8 points allowed per game) and sixth in scoring offense (40.6 points scored per game).
The Wolverines are also -110 to win the Big Ten Conference, although No. 3 Ohio State (+140) is nipping at their heels. Ohio State debuted Tuesday at No. 1 in the first set of College Football Playoff rankings, with Michigan No. 3 behind Georgia. The two Big Ten powerhouses meet Nov. 25 in the regular-season finale at Michigan Stadium.
In the midst of Michigan’s success, quarterback J.J. McCarthy has emerged as a serious contender for the Heisman Trophy. He currently owns the second-best odds on the board at +300, trailing only Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (+275). McCarthy has completed 78.1% of his passes for 1,799 yards and 18 touchdowns. More importantly, he’s thrown just three interceptions, all of which came in a Sept. 16 win over Bowling Green. Keep that in mind when analyzing the Purdue vs Michigan point spread.
Boilermakers Keep Fading
As expected, this has become a rebuilding year under new head coach Ryan Walters. The Boilermakers have been outscored 92-35 over their last three games, with no obvious room for improvement in sight. It’ll likely only get worse for Walters and Co. from here, especially with Michigan on deck.
Texas transfer Hudson Card has struggled to establish himself at quarterback, with a sub-60% completion rate. He’s also thrown just eight touchdowns compared to seven interceptions and has been sacked 18 times. As such, the Boilermakers rank just 104th nationally in scoring offense (21.9 points scored per game).
A loss Saturday — or at any point over the next four games, for that matter — would eliminate Purdue from bowl contention for the first time since the COVID-impacted 2020 season. That’s not surprising, as Purdue was projected for only 5.0 wins.
Handicapping the Game
Will the sign-stealing scandal serve as a distraction for Michigan? It shouldn’t, especially not this week. The Wolverines are far superior to Purdue across the board. Card, in particular, has struggled, and his job won’t get any easier against the Wolverines’ top-ranked defense. They have not given up more than one touchdown in any game this season.
If you’re making your NCAAF picks, take the Wolverines to win, and to do so handily. If you’re skeptical of the massive spread, Under 50.5 points could also be possible.