The ninth-seeded Michigan Wolverines attempt to put a season-ending slump behind them when they face the eighth-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the second round of the 2020 Big Ten Tournament on Thursday. Tip-off from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is set for noon ET. Michigan (19-12) lost three of its final four regular-season contests, including an 83-70 setback at Maryland in its finale on Sunday. The Wolverines, who were 6-2 against the spread in their previous eight outings, are seeking their fourth consecutive appearance in the tournament final.
Rutgers (20-11) has posted its first winning record since going 19-14 in 2005-06 but has yet to register a victory over Michigan as the schools prepare for their 14th all-time meeting. The Scarlet Knights lost to the Wolverines twice in 2019-20, falling 69-63 in a neutral-site contest on Feb. 1 before suffering their only home loss of the season, 60-52, just 18 days later. The Wolverines are three-point favorites in the latest Michigan vs. Rutgers odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 135. Before making any Rutgers vs. Michigan picks, check out the 2020 Big Ten Tournament predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has crushed its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread the past three years, returning $2,770 to $100 players. It also entered Week 19 of the 2019-20 season on a 75-53 run on all top-rated college basketball picks. Anybody who followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has locked in on Michigan vs. Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Rutgers vs. Michigan:
- Michigan vs. Rutgers spread: Michigan -3
- Michigan vs. Rutgers over-under: 135 points
- Michigan vs. Rutgers money line: Michigan -152, Rutgers +126
- MICH: F Austin Davis is 30-for-40 from the field in his last 12 games.
- RUT: C Myles Johnson leads the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (60.2).
Why Michigan can cover
The model has considered Franz Wagner is one of the Wolverines' five starters who are averaging double digits in scoring at 11.6 points. The freshman guard has hit double figures in each of his last seven contests, averaging 15.8 points during the hot streak after recording 15 against Maryland.
Junior forward Isaiah Livers has been nearly automatic from the free-throw line this season, going 44-for-46 overall while making all 36 of his attempts over the last 12 games. Senior guard Zavier Simpson is second in the country with an average of 7.9 assists and is the only Wolverine ever to register more than 200 twice (244 in 2018-19, 236 this campaign).
Why Rutgers can cover
Even so, the Wolverines aren't a lock to cover the Rutgers vs. Michigan spread on Thursday. The Scarlet Knights tied a season high with nine 3-pointers in a 71-68 overtime win at Purdue on Saturday and limited the Boilermakers to 33.8 percent shooting. Rutgers is eighth in the nation and second in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense with a 38.3 percent average. Junior guard Geo Baker, who's averaging 10.9 points per game, scored a team-high 19 points against Purdue and sophomore swingman Ron Harper Jr. added 15, while both went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Defensively, the Scarlet Knights are giving up just 62.6 points per game, which ranks 18th in the nation. Rutgers has also fared well against the spread in recent weeks. In fact, the Scarlet Knights are 14-6 against the number in their last 20 games.
How to make Michigan vs. Rutgers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over the total, as Simpson approaches 11 points and seven assists for the Wolverines while three Scarlet Knights score at least 11 points. It also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Michigan vs. Rutgers? And which side of the spread is hitting well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Rutgers vs. Michigan spread to jump on Thursday, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,700 on its top-rated college basketball picks, and find out.