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Michigan vs. Purdue

10/6/12

 

Purdue hosts Michigan Saturday in a key Big 10 matchup. Michigan is a -3 point road favorite at SBG Global with a whopping 91% of the early wagers at sportsbook.ag coming in on the side of the Wolverines.

A lot of the money will come in on Michigan in this game because, well, they're Michigan. This game is surprisingly a pretty big game in the Big 10 this week as each team has a chance to win their separate divisions this season. Both of them lost to Notre Dame in South Bend. Michigan lost in their last game 13-6, while Purdue lost in the second week of the season, 20-17.

In last year's meeting, Michigan dominated on the ground rushing for 339 yards led by Fitzgerald Toussaint who had 170 of those yards and two TDs. While it's still early in the season, Purdue already looks like a better team than they have been in the past. The Boilermakers lost to Notre Dame 38-10 in 2011, but just by three this season. The same may be said about this game next week as Michigan is only field goal favorites.

Purdue Quarterback Caleb TerBush will lead his troops against an average Michigan defense that hasn't really found their way yet. After TerBush missed the first game of the season, he's come in and thrown for 531 yards and seven TDs in three games. TerBush has three main wide receivers to look to that have totaled for most of the yards and TDs for Purdue receivers this year. But like a lot of Big 10 teams, the Boilermakers like to run the ball. RB Akeem Shavers is at the top of the totem pole with 240 yards and three TDs. Six other players have a rushing TD for Purdue.

Michigan was supposed to have a high-powered offense again, but that hasn't come full circle yet as they scored only 20 combined points in their games against Alabama and Notre Dame. Sure, they're good teams, but if you want to be a good offense you have to score on good defenses. Denard Robinson is basically their whole offense. He's most useful in the ground game rushing for 441 yards and four TDs, but his passing game needs work. His eight interceptions stand out as he continues to deal with accuracy issues. No matter, he still has 837 passing yards and six TDs. Fitzgerald Toussaint will continue to get a bigger role in the offense after he was suspended in the first week against Alabama. Former quarterback Devin Gardner is Michigan's current top receiver with 195 yards and three TDs.

The Boilermakers defense has been solid to start the season, although they haven't faced much competition excluding Notre Dame. The 41 points allowed to Marshall may be in large part due to them looking a little bit in advance to this game. While they fought to a 51-41 win last week, Michigan was on bye. The only way to stop Michigan is to stop Robinson and that's what they'll be focusing on.

The Wolverines have won seven of the past nine meetings, but the series is split over the past four years. In addition, Purdue has covered in three of the past four matchups. Michigan sits at 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 road games against a team with a winning record while Purdue is 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games. In the last 12 meetings between these teams, the home team is 9-2-1 ATS.

Michigan has played a schedule that has been considerably more difficult than Purdue. The only way to really judge these two teams is to take a look at the only common opponent, Notre Dame. They both played at Notre Dame and both lost. However, it was Michigan who performed better statistically. They won the first down battle 19-14 while Purdue lost that battle by the same number. Notre Dame outgained Purdue 376 to 288 while Michigan outgained the Irish 299 to 239. Michigan also held the ball for 33 minutes while Purdue could manage just 25.

What cost Michigan the game at Notre Dame was 6 turnovers, 5 of them interceptions and there lies the key to this game for Michigan. If they can hold on to the ball and not turn it over, they should come out on top here. We're going to go ahead and lay the field goal in this spot, with what we feel is the better team. Michigan -3
 

 

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