Northwestern vs. Michigan College Football Picks: Expect Both Defensive Units to Shine & Bet Under 35

Steven Suarez

Thursday, October 8, 2015 8:19 PM GMT

Get ready for a defensive bloodbath this weekend when Michigan and Northwestern collide in Ann Arbor. Which college football picks stand out most?

Odds Overview
The Wolverines are at home this weekend and they've enjoyed a dominant bounce-back stretch after losing their opener. They're laying as many as 7.5 points at most of the top sportsbooks we've looked over.

As far as the total goes, we see the number at an extremely low 35 points, which just goes to show you how good both of these defensive units can be. If you can believe, these two teams are ranked #1 and #2 respectively in terms of fewest points allowed a game.

 

Michigan Wolverines
Jim Harbaugh's tenure as Michigan's coach couldn't have gotten off to a worse start, as the Wolverines fell 24-17 on the road to Utah. Since that defeat, however, they've been on a roll, crushing Oregon State, UNLV, BYU and Maryland while only allowing a grand total of 14 points in the process. 

The offense hasn't been doing anything special, as QB Jake Rudock has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, though De'Veon Smith has been running well out of the backfield. It's the defense that has stood tall above the rest for the team though, with the Wolverines allowing a miniscule 7.6 points per game through five games. Only their upcoming opponent, Northwestern, has done better in that area.

That's what makes this Saturday's meeting all the more intriguing from an outsider's perspective. The Wildcats have been one of the pleasant surprises this season, but oddsmakers have them classified as pretty significant underdogs on the college football odds board. Michigan is favored by a sturdy margin to extend their winning streak to five games.

 

Northwestern Wildcats
Just like the Wolverines, Northwestern has used their outstanding defense to get off to a hot start in the 2015 season. The only difference is the Wildcats have still yet to lose a single game. They've already faced some stiff competition, namely in their opener when they topped Stanford 16-6 at home. Not a bad way to kick off the year.

Now up to #13 in the AP poll, Northwestern isn't surprising anyone anymore, as they've clearly asserted themselves as a legitimate contender in not only the Big Ten but the entire country. Justin Jackson has been the heart and soul of the offense, running for a team-high 636 yards, and the defense has locked in, surrendering a miniscule 7.0 points a game. No team has been better defensively.

Will anything change this week? It's never as easy on the road, and we know the Wildcats are going to have avoid making any mistakes if they want to move to 6-0 on the season. They've defied the odds already before in 2015, but the road gets even tougher now, and oddsmakers aren't all that confident in their chances. It'd be foolish to count them out, though.

 

Betting Outlook
Sure, this is one of the lowest totals you're ever going to see in college football, but we still think the UNDER has a good chance of hitting.

These two defenses are just that dominant, and neither of these offenses have really shown enough to warrant much love either. We should be witnessing another hard-fought defensive battle from start to finish here, with points likely being extremely hard to come by.

When you see the two top-rated defenses going at it, it's going to be hard to think of anything other than the UNDER coming through. With our college football picks, we're backing the defensives units and expecting a very tight, low-scoring affair.

College Football Picks: UNDER 35 at 5Dimes

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