Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#399 Minnesota vs.
#400 Rutgers
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#399 University of Minnesota
#400 Rutgers University
6-0
1-5
3-2-1
1-5
3-3
2-3-1
35
11
23
35

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When and where: October 19, 2019, HighPoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, 3:30 PM ET

Things won’t get any easier for the struggling Rutgers Scarlet Knights with the No. 20-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers coming to town for a visit on Saturday. Despite a few close calls, the Golden Gophers remain unbeaten this season. They recently trounced Nebraska in a 34-7 victory at home. Meanwhile, the Scarlett Knights were shut out for the third time this season by Indiana. Rutgers quarterback Johnny Langan hopes to have a better outing after completing only five passes for one yard.

True test has yet to come for Minnesota

The Golden Gophers have continued to pile up wins with few actually taking them seriously as legitimate contenders. They did manage to dust off a bad Nebraska team, but that isn’t the type of performance that’s going to turn heads, either.

Saturday’s game against the Scarlett Knights only feeds into the narrative of Minnesota working their way through a cupcake schedule before running into Penn State and Iowa later in the season.

Rutgers has been so bad defensively that it’s basically picking your poison for the Golden Gophers’ offense. They could opt to run the ball down the throat of a Rutgers defense allowing an average of 209.17 rushing yards per game, which ranks dead last in the Big Ten conference. Rodney Smith has been an absolute terror coming out of the backfield with 118 rushes on the season for 675 yards and four touchdowns.

If you’re wondering about the passing attack, the Rutgers defense hasn’t shown the ability to stop that, either. Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan has done a fine job of stepping in for injured starter Zack Annexstad, and he should have no problem slicing up the Scarlett Knights secondary like a filet on a Gordon Ramsey cutting board.

The Golden Gophers have struggled with consistency on defense, particularly when defending the run, but they are going head-to-head with an offense only generating 11.8 points per game. Minnesota is averaging more points than that in a half. There are no dimensions to the Rutgers offense, and the Golden Gophers should be able to boost their stats on Saturday.

Rutgers shut out for a third time

The Scarlet Knights only mustered a sad 75 total yards in their blowout loss to Indiana, while giving up 557 total yards of offense. They were clearly overmatched from the beginning. Granted, every fan knew what they were getting into when these two teams went head-to-head, but Rutgers diehards at least expected them to come away with a field goal. For a third time this season, they couldn’t get anything going on offense.

It could be the same story on Saturday if they’re unable to convert third downs. They were 0-for-11 in third-down conversions against the Indians, and they rank last in the conference with only 22 conversions on 88 attempts this season.

Langen is in a rough situation playing behind center with a shoddy offensive line and no consistent rushing attack. He has two interceptions and zero touchdown passes on the season. There is no need in directing blame in running back Isaih Pacheco’s direction considering there aren’t many holes for him to run through.

Things aren’t any better on the defensive side with the team ranking near the bottom in nearly every important statistical category. Along with being the worst at converting third downs, they’re also the worst at stopping third-down conversions.

So they can’t even get off the field.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Normally, a sizable spread like the one on Sunday between the Golden Gophers and Scarlet Knights might raise some eyebrows. There would typically be a bit of trepidation when banking on a heavily favored team covering that many points.

Yet, I’m not getting those vibes in this game.

Rutgers has been shut out in three games this season for a reason. They haven’t shown life on either side of the ball, and they’re losing in downright demoralizing fashion. Langan and the passing offense only netted one yard against Indiana. You couldn’t even replicate those kinds of stats playing against an AI controlled team on rookie mode in Madden.

The Scarlet Knights haven’t shown the ability to move the ball downfield, and they are giving up an average of 36 points per game. Morgan will continue to look good behind center after taking whatever he wants from the Rutgers defense. Smith might actually run for 200 yards on Saturday. The Scarlett Knights are allowing an average of 209.2 rushing yards per game.

I’m taking the Golden Gophers and the points.

Prediction: Minnesota Golden Gophers (-28.5)

Full-Game Total Pick

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This game is bound to get ugly, but I have a hard time believing the Scarlett Knights will fail to put up points on the board for a second straight outing. Granted, I’m not expecting them to find much offensive success, but they’ll at least keep from getting blanked on the scoreboard. Minnesota’s defense is far from being a shutdown unit. So there is some hope the Scarlett Knights can at least come away with some points, while getting scored on relentlessly. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (47.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.