Michigan Basketball: Odds, a prediction and how to watch vs Rutgers

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Michigan basketball will face a key matchup on Thursday against Rutgers and here is a look at the odds, a prediction, and how to watch. 

Following last week’s win on Saturday over Michigan State, you could feel the life get put back into Michigan basketball as the Wolverines hope to rally and play their way into the NCAA tournament.

It’s not going to be easy. Michigan will need to win at least three of the last four games in the regular season and then probably another one or two in the Big Ten tournament.

One thing that helps Michigan basketball is the strength of schedule. It’s not easy over the next four games as Rutgers, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana are all projected tournament teams right now and all of the games except Wisconsin are on the road.

That starts on Thursday with a road trip to Rutgers, which has one of the best home-court advantages in the Big Ten. Yet, the Scarlet Knights lost to Nebraska by double digits at home last week and will likely be without Caleb McConnell, one of their starters against U-M.

Michigan basketball could be without two starters too. Terrance Williams and Jett Howard will both be game-time decisions although there were positive updates on Wednesday from assistant coach Phil Martelli.

Rutgers is an elite defensive team. They defend as well as anyone in the Big Ten but they have been susceptible against big men and Derrick Walker had a big game last week.

Hunter Dickinson is going to be a focal point. Rutgers might not double-team because of Clifford Omoruyi who averages 2.4 blocks per game. He actually blocked five shots against Nebraska, yet Walker still had 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

That means this is a one-on-one matchup Dickinson can win. Kobe Bufkin will have to play well and if Rutgers does decide to double, Jett Howard, if he plays, Joey Baker, and the rest of the team will need to make shots.

Rutgers is 9th in the Big Ten in scoring, 11th in field-goal percentage, 9th in 3-point field-goal percentage, 10th in free throw attempts, nine in free throw makes, and seventh in free throw percentage so not much to hang their hat on.

If Dickinson can limit Omoruyi inside, something Tarris Reed can also help with, Michigan basketball should be in a good spot to win the game.

Michigan basketball vs Rutgers odds

According to Draft Kings, Michigan basketball is a six-point underdog against Rutgers. The over/under is 133.5.

Michigan basketball vs Rutgers prediction

Rutgers has been really tough at home but that’s been true in previous years and the Wolverines have been able to go to New Jersey and get a win.

I feel like Hunter Dickinson is about to play some of his best basketball and with younger players like Reed and Dug McDaniel also playing their best, Michigan is in good shape here. McDaniel had 18 points, four rebounds, four assists, and zero turnovers against Michigan State on Saturday.

It was the best game of his young Michigan basketball career. But he’ll need a similar effort. Not necessarily scoring the ball but in terms of taking care of the ball and defending.

Call me crazy, but I’m going with Michigan, not just with the spread, but to win the game outright against Rutgers.

How to watch Michigan basketball vs Rutgers

Tip-off time: 8:30 PM EST

TV: Fox Sports 1

Stream: Fubo TV

Radio: mgoblue.com

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