Michigan Wolverines (+10) @ Wisconsin Badgers Football Pick: When you look at their most recent against a common opponent (Purdue), this game looks very scary. The Wolverines just barely lost to Purdue after falling apart in the second half, 36-38, while the Badgers smoked the Boilermakers 37-0. So all by itself, that looks scary. Then if you look at what Wisconsin has done lately, killing purdue after playing tough against Iowa, and then beating Indiana – they look even better. And then you have to look at Michigan lately, try 3 straight losses, including a 12-38 beatdown by Illinois, of all teams, and this game looks like a sure Wisconsin win. But wait, there’s more reasons to go against my pick – the Wolverines are 0-3 on the road this year. What am I doing here?
I’m looking at the bigger picture, that’s what. The Wolverines and Badgers are very equal teams. That’s right, look at it all and take it in. Both lost a close game to Iowa (besides Northwestern, who hasn’t lost a close game to Iowa?) – both got beat up by one of the best teams in the Big 10 (Wisconsin 13-31 vs Ohio State, Michigan 10-35 vs Penn State) – both played close with Michigan State (Wisconsin winning by a score, Michigan losing in overtime), both beat Indiana by 3, both have beaten up on a lesser team or two, and both have had their poor performances (Wisconsin struggled but won against Northern Illinois and Fresno State – Michigan got killed by Illinois) – I’m telling you, these teams are more equal than their records insist. Better yet, they’re more equal than a 10 point spread.
Michigan has struggled over the last 3 games, no doubt, but it’s hard for me to ignore their start to the season where they either won or played close to every team they went up against. I expect them to get back to respectability against an overrated Wisconsin team.