Odds, Predictions & Betting Predictions (01/26/22)

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Northwestern vs Michigan Betting Odds

Does Michigan get it?

After beating Maryland by 19 last Tuesday, the Wolverines headed into Bloomington and had a boat race in Indiana. Michigan came away with an 18-point win on the road to take them 3-3 in the conference.

Meanwhile, Northwestern is melting.

The Wildcats have lost six of their last seven games and are now 2-6 in conference play. Chris Collins’ teams tend to melt at this time of year, so their level of play isn’t surprising.

With these two positions in opposite directions, does this present a point to buy low and sell high with Northwestern? Or do we trust Michigan to keep rolling?

Northwest Wildcats Odds

This is a typical annual script for the Wildcats.

Northwestern comes out hot, mostly dominates a weak non-conference schedule, then wins a few big conference games before completely melting away.

The ‘Cats started the season 8-2 with a win over Maryland. They recently beat Michigan State at East Lansing. But they’re also 9-8 overall and 2-6 in conference.

History suggests things could get uglier:

  • 2021: Wildcats start 6-1, 3-0 in conference; finish 9-14 and 6-13 in conference
  • 2020: Wildcats start 6-9 with wins over Providence and Nebraska; finish 8-23 and 3-17 in conference
  • 2019: Wildcats are 12-7 on Jan. 22 after back-to-back wins over Rutgers and Indiana; finish losing 12 of their last 13 games.
  • 2018: Wildcats are 15-10 on Feb. 6 after beating ranked Michigan; finish by losing the last seven games.

It’s the same script every year for Collins and Co., and I’m looking to blur them in the future.

It’s unfortunate, because I had more hope than usual for Northwestern this season. The Wildcats fired nearly every major contributor from last season without Miller Kopp.

With Boo Buie leading things in the backcourt, Northwestern is fourth in offensive turnover rate. Pete Nance and Ryan Young take on the rest of the score, and both have an ORtg above 115.

The only major disappointment was Chase Audige – that is, apart from the performance of the whole team.

Ultimately, I’m just not sure there’s enough top-notch talent on Northwestern’s roster to make the Big Ten. The wins may never come for Collins in the Big Ten.

Michigan Wolverines Odds

There have been all kinds of problems with the Wolverines this season.

Devante Jones wasn’t perfect and the defense was horrible.

So, what went well in the last games?

Well, keeping both teams under 1.1 points per possession is a start. Both teams also went a combined 11-for-36 from 3 (30.5%).

Jones registered 11 assists during the two-game stretch, which isn’t unusual but is important for Juwan Howard’s offense to work. Hunter Dickinson also broke out, collecting 46 points and 15 rebounds in both wins.

But through it all, I always come back to one thing: wing play.

Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner were far better than anyone gave them credit last year. Both were incredible two-way players. Almost transcendent (if you’re a Michigan fan).

It’s hard to replicate that, especially between two freshmen. Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate have been highly touted, but they’ve been inconsistent at times – unsurprising for a few young players.

However, over the past two days, these two have combined for 59 of 21 for 35 points from the field (60%) and 8 for 12 of 3 (66.7%).

These two are starting to replicate some of the wing production from last season, and that will be key for Michigan to continue this run.

Northwestern vs Michigan Prediction and Picks

My pick: Michigan -7.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

I’ve been watching this place for a while.

Michigan may be on their way to finding something, and Northwestern is the perfect team to handle it. Northwestern is always overvalued at this time of year because Collins is collapsing over time.

It will be a good starting point for Michigan, especially for the young wings. Diabate and Houstan have height advantages over Audige and Nance, and they will hopefully take advantage of sedan opportunities.

It’s a big gap, but I believe Michigan will sail Wednesday night in Ann Arbor.

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