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Minnesota at Michigan odds, picks and prediction

Geoff Clark
USA Today Sportsbookwire

The Michigan Wolverines and Minnesota Golden Gophers begin their 2020 Big Ten-only campaigns at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. We analyze the Michigan-Minnesota college football betting odds and lines, with picks and best bets.

The Wolverines are the 17th-ranked team and the Golden Gophers are 21st in the Amway Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.

Michigan at Minnesota: Betting odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports' betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 6:55 a.m. ET.

  • Money line : Michigan -167 (bet $167, win $100) | Minnesota +137 (bet $100, win $137)
  • Against the spread/ATS : Michigan -3.5 (-106) | Minnesota +3.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under : 53.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Michigan at Minnesota: Three things to know

  1. Head coach P.J. Fleck has built a football program at Minnesota that has expectations since being hired in 2017. The Golden Gophers have won more games in each of Fleck's first three seasons and reached a top-10 ranking in 2019.
  2. Michigan is 11-13 against the spread vs. ranked teams since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2015. The Wolverines are 8-9-1 ATS as away favorites in that timespan as well.
  3. Minnesota and Michigan have only played once with both Fleck and Harbaugh in charge of each program. The Wolverines won 33-10, covering a 16.5-point spread, in November 2017.

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Michigan at Minnesota: Odds, prediction, betting lines and picks

Prediction

Minnesota 27, Michigan 21

Money line (ML)

If what we saw at the beginning of the NFL season is any indication of football with little practice, then the offenses may be more locked in to start the season than the defenses.

MINNESOTA ( +137) returns 82% of its offense production from last season, including Second-Team All-Big Ten QB Tanner Morgan, according to ESPN.com. The Golden Gophers no longer have their leading receiver and rusher from 2019 but the next guys up-WR Rashod Bateman and RB Mohamed Ibrahim-were more efficient and nearly as productive.

Michigan (-167) is 125th in return of production (out of 130 charted FBS teams) and returns 49% of its defensive production. Dual-threat four-star recruit QB Joe Milton takes over a Michigan offense that was sixth in the Big Ten in both points per game and yards per play in 2019.

However, the Wolverines no longer have three of their top four receivers from 2019's team. It's going to take this new offense a few weeks to gel.

The spread is much more appealing but I'll SPRINKLE on MINNESOTA (+137).

Against the spread (ATS)

I laid out my rationale for taking the Golden Gophers on the money line so I LOVEMINNESOTA +3.5 (-115) at home. Michigan -3.5 (-106) has laid an egg against a ranked foe in the first few weeks of its season in 2018-19. The Wolverines lost to then-No. 13 Wisconsin in 2019 and to then-No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2018.

Give me three and the hook with MINNESOTA +3.5 (-115).

Over/Under(O/U)

Michigan-Minnesota's total (53.5) could be affected by the freezing cold weather forecast (32 degrees). Also, 87% of the money wagered and 76% of the bets placed are on Under, according to Pregame.com.

I only lean UNDER 53.5 ( -110) because I like Minnesota's offense and it has retained only 33% of its defensive production from last season.

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