The No. 11 Michigan Wolverines and No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers meet on Saturday in a key early battle in the Big Ten title race. The conference-opener for both clubs will kick off at noon ET from Camp Randall Stadium. The Wolverines return off a bye following their 24-21 double-overtime home victory against Army two weeks ago. The Badgers also had last week off after they beat South Florida and Central Michigan by a combined score of 110-0 in the first two weeks. Michigan has won two of the past three meetings and prevailed 38-9 in Ann Arbor last year. The Badgers won 24-10 in 2017 in Madison, the last time this matchup was played in their home stadium. The Badgers are 3.5-point favorites and the over-under for total points scored is 44.5 in the latest Michigan vs. Wisconsin odds. Before making any Wisconsin vs. Michigan picks, make sure you hear what SportsLine expert Mike Tierney has to say. 

The veteran sportswriter, whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, has covered college football of all levels for decades. He hit nearly 60 percent of his college football against the spread picks last season and has consistently emerged as one of SportsLine’s top handicappers in all sports.

What’s more, he has had a particularly strong grasp for the tendencies of these programs, posting a stunning 13-2 record on spread picks involving the Wolverines or Badgers over the past two seasons.

In Week 1, Tierney told SportsLine members that Wisconsin’s physical attack would be too much for a youth-laden South Florida club. He recommended a strong play on the Badgers (-10.5), who rolled to a 49-0 road victory. Anyone who followed his advice booked an easy winner and those who have consistently followed him are way up. 

Now, Tierney has locked in on Michigan vs. Wisconsin from every angle. You can only see his picks at SportsLine.

Tierney knows that despite returning just eight total starters, the Badgers appear to be back to their dominant ways. With zero points allowed on the season, they lead the country in scoring defense. They dropped to No. 34 nationally last season (22.6 points per game) after finishing second in the country (13.9) in 2017. 

Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor again looks poised to be a reliable workhorse in the backfield. The junior running back has gone for 237 yards on 35 carries with five touchdowns in two games.

The home team has beaten the number in six of the last nine meetings in this series, but the Badgers are far from a lock to cover the Wisconsin vs. Michigan spread against a Wolverines club that will have plenty of motivating factors of its own. 

The Wolverines were outplayed most of the way by Army two weeks ago in a game in which they were 22.5-point favorites. They salvaged a victory by forcing a fumble on an Army possession in the second overtime. However, Michigan’s vaunted defense held Army scoreless in the second half of regulation and allowed just 243 yards to the Knights’ potent option attack. 

On the offensive side, senior quarterback Shea Patterson is off to a strong start. He has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 410 yards with three touchdowns against zero interceptions. 

Tierney has broken down this matchup from every angle. We can tell you he’s leaning over, but he’s also identified the critical x-factor that has him all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing it at SportsLine. 

Who wins Michigan vs. Wisconsin? And what critical factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Michigan vs. Wisconsin spread you should jump on Saturday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit 87 percent of his spread picks on these teams, and find out.

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