Expect a defensive struggle when the No. 20 Michigan Wolverines (19-6, 8-4 Big 10) and Northwestern Wildcats (14-10, 5-6 Big 10) square off at Allstate Arena. Michigan opened as a 1.5-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 129 points. Action starts at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Northwestern Wildcats Free Preview
The last time the Wolverines played, they barely escaped the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 76-73. With 13 points and 11 rebounds, Charles Matthews played well for Michigan. Michigan played a nearly flawless game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 26.2 (below their season average of 27.0) and a turnover percentage of 7.4 (better than their season average of 13.0). For those same stats, Minnesota had marks of 13.5 and 7.8, respectively.
The Wildcats will look to maintain momentum after topping the Wisconsin Badgers in their last game, 60-52. With 17 points on 8-for-8 shooting, Dererk Pardon was the games leading scorer. The Wildcats made 14 of their 17 free throws (82.4 percent) and held the Badgers to an effective field goal percentage of 0.388 (below their season average of 0.515).
Half-court execution will be of utmost importance when a pair of the nations slowest-paced teams go head-to-head. Northwestern ranks 282nd in possessions per game (67.5) and Michigan is 330th (65.8).
Both of these teams have typically finished under the O/U total. Michigan games have gone under 58.3 percent of the time, while games including Northwestern have finished under 61.9 percent of the time. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Wolverines have a substantial advantage. They are 19-6 SU and 14-10 ATS, while the Wildcats are 14-10 SU and 9-12 ATS.
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined to score 105 points, well under the projected point total of 133.5. The Wolverines won 58-47, covering as 8-point favorites. The Wolverines dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an absurdly low turnover percentage of 8.2 and a free throw rate of 0.180. For those same stats, the Wildcats were 23.7 and 0.149, respectively. Matthews was a standout player in the game, putting up 14 points and seven rebounds.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Northwestern Wildcats ATS Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Michigan, ATS Winner – Michigan, O/U – Under
- The Wolverines rank 48th in three pointers attempted per game (25.2) while the Wildcats rank 111th (22.7).
- Northwestern ranks 203rd in rebounds per game (33.9) while Michigan ranks 226th (33.3).
- On the road, Michigan is 7-4 ATS with 6 overs and 5 unders.
- At home, Northwestern is 5-5 ATS with 7 unders and 3 overs.
- Michigan ranks 18th in assists allowed per game (10.4) while Northwestern ranks 155th (13.6).
- The Wildcats rank 34th in blocks per game (4.7) while the Wolverines rank 128th (3.2).
- Michigan ranks sixth in steals allowed per game (4.3) while Northwestern ranks 92nd (5.9).
- Northwestern is 3-2 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Michigan is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Wildcats average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.6, down from 5.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Wolverines have scored an average of 67.2 points per game (7.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.2 points per game (2.7 above their season average).