Michigan vs. Wisconsin Predictions: Mertz to struggle again
The 2021 season hasn't exactly gone to plan for Wisconsin but can Graham Mertz and Co. get their campaign back on track against the 4-0 #14 team in the land, the Michigan Wolverines?
Neil Monnery has a look at the Big Noon Kick-Off game on FOX...
Did Penn State break Wisconsin? That is the talk in the Nittany Lions blogosphere after watching both the Badgers lose against Notre Dame and Auburn struggle with Georgia State last weekend.
That might be more than a bit disingenuous but I think you can easily argue that there is a small element of truth in that conversation. College kids do often struggle having a tough loss to pick themselves up and go again. This is part of why the season is precariously balanced if you are a fan of the preseason BigTen West favorite.
Of course the biggest problem is Graham Mertz. I don’t think we can sugarcoat just how big of a disappointment that talented player has been this season. Coming into the 2021 campaign, he was seen as a dark horse in the Heisman Trophy but now the highest rated QB in the Paul Chryst era has more questions than answers surrounding his performance.
If you remember, he was one of the first players to come out with plans until NIL to make money as a student-athlete. I’ve seen more than a few fans question whether this has impacted his game.
Mertz was not good to say the least in crunch time at Soldier Field on Saturday. I quite simply cannot trust him in a big game at all so if Wisconsin are to win this game at home against the undefeated Wolverines then they’ll need to do it the old fashioned way - defense. Luckily they are pretty darn good at that.
As for Michigan, they have developed a plan with Cole McNamara not asked to do much and the impressive O-Line to open enough holes for the running backs. They are the #14 team in the nation but they aren’t that good. I loved taking Rutgers with the points last Saturday and heck, in the end they had an opportunity to win the game outright. Jim Harbaugh’s squad are not built to win a shootout against a good team. Luckily for them, so far Rutgers has been their toughest opponent.
They’ve also not left the cozy confines of Ann Arbor yet. Saturday will be their first road trip of the season and a Noon kick in Madison is not ideal.
Tough game to pick on the spread this one and I’m not surprised the line is pretty tight.
Michigan are currently getting 1.5points on the spread. That surprises me somewhat as I just think Wisconsin are ready to freefall. I’ll take the Wolverines and the points to get to 5-0 and start them believing that this just might be their year.
Looking around various Sportsbook partners and I can see some have them as a pick ‘em game whilst some have Wisconsin slight favorites. I don’t believe in either team but Graham Mertz I believe in less than the Easter Bunny. Michigan straight up.
Over/Under Points Totals:
I like the under 43points pretty heavily. I think both defenses match-up well with their opposition's offense. I got 20-13 Michigan.