The No. 16 Michigan Wolverines look to stay atop the Big Ten Conference standings when they take on the visiting No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday. The Wolverines (8-0), who are coming off an 84-73 win at Maryland on Thursday, finished ninth in the Big Ten at 10-10 and were 19-12 overall in 2019-20. The Wildcats (6-2), who lost 87-72 at Iowa on Tuesday, finished 13th at 3-17 and were 8-23 a year ago. Michigan has won three straight in the series and six of the past eight.
The game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET from Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Northwestern is averaging 83.6 points per game, 35th-best nationally, while Michigan averages 82.3, 45th-best. The Wolverines are nine-point favorites in the latest Northwestern vs. Michigan odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 145.5. Before making any Michigan vs. Northwestern picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It's off to a profitable start in the 2020-21 season, going 16-12 on all its top-rated picks and returning almost $400. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Northwestern vs. Michigan spread: Michigan -9
- Northwestern vs. Michigan over-under: 145.5 points
- Northwestern vs. Michigan money line: Michigan -450, Northwestern +350
- NW: Has posted double-digit assists in 33 straight games
- MICH: Senior guard Mike Smith has gone 7 of 11 (63.6 percent) from 3-point range over his last four games
Why Michigan can cover
The Wolverines have won eight straight games against the Wildcats in Michigan. Sophomore guard Franz Wagner has been red hot and has scored in double figures in four games this season. He is coming off a 19-point performance against Maryland on Thursday. He also had 20 points at Nebraska on Dec. 25. For the season, Wagner is averaging 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and one steal per game. He is hitting 52.9 percent of his field goals and is making 82.4 percent of his free throws.
Also playing a big part in Michigan's success is senior guard Eli Brooks, who has scored in double figures in five of eight games this season, including four of the last five. Brooks is averaging 9.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He has at least two assists in every game and four or more in five. Last season, he started 30 games and averaged 10.6 points per game.
Why Northwestern can cover
The Wildcats are off to their best start in conference play since the 1967-68 season when they were 4-1 in league play. Junior forward Miller Kopp is one of four players averaging in double figures and leads the way with a 14.6-point average. He also averages 2.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He is hitting 56.1 percent of his shots from the field, including 57.6 percent of his 3-pointers. He is also connecting on 82.8 percent of his free throws.
Also off to a solid start to the season is sophomore guard Chase Audige, who averages 13 points, four rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.9 steals per game. He has scored in double figures in six of eight games, including a 20-point effort against Chicago State on Dec. 5. He also poured in 17 points in a 74-67 win at Indiana on Dec. 23.
How to make Michigan vs. Northwestern picks
The model has simulated Northwestern vs. Michigan 10,000 times and the results are in. It is leaning over on the total, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Northwestern vs. Michigan? And which side of the spread cashes in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Michigan vs. Northwestern spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.