Michigan Wolverines Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
Jim Harbaugh certainly hasn't been boring in his time at Michigan. And he has won plenty of games. Now it's time for him to take the next step. He hasn't beaten Urban Meyer and Ohio State yet, and that means that he hasn't yet reached the top level of the Big Ten. It's going to happen at some point, but is this the year? He faces a lot of changes, but he's not short of talent - and he doesn't have a whole lot of excuses. A lot of people want to argue that next year is when the window really opens for this team. He is not one to be particularly patient, though, so he won't have any interest at all in waiting.
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2016 in a Nutshell
It was a pretty good year that was close to being a great one. Their grand ambitions took a big hit in their 10th game with a mystifying 14-13 loss at Iowa. They were ranked No. 2 in the country at the time, but injuries and lethargy got in the way. Two games later they lost in double overtime at Ohio State in a game marred by officiating controversy. A win there would have put them in the conference championship game and quite likely the playoff, so it was a hugely costly loss. They then lost their bowl game by a single point to Florida State in a game that was not nearly as good as it should have been. Quarterbacking was particularly ugly in that one.
Key Additions and Departures
The team had a remarkable 11 players drafted - all in the first six rounds. That was both a program record and the most for any school last year. Needless to say, then, there are some new starters this year - plenty of them. It's not the concern it could be, though. Harbaugh and his coordinators cycle a lot of players through the lineup, so guys who haven't technically started have still played a lot and will be ready. Defensive line star Rashan Gary, for example, has not technically been a starter, but the top recruit in the 2016 class is poised to be a star. Michigan has to figure out how to put together an offensive line that can hold up, and there are some questions in the secondary, but they certainly have the talent to be special.
Michigan had a Top 5 recruiting class last year, with 30 players joining the squad. Three receivers could have an immediate impact, and Cesar Ruiz at center and tackle Chuck Filiaga could play a key role, too.
Michigan Wolverines Schedule Analysis
The season is like a sandwich for Michigan. They have tough games first and last and a tough one in the middle, and the rest of the schedule is just condiments. They open against Florida in Arlington. They will be hoping it goes a whole lot better than it did the last time they opened their season in Arlington - that time they got crushed by Alabama. Six games later they travel to Penn State in a game that could be a big one - though Michigan humiliated Penn State last year, and I don't love that team this year. And of course they finish up against Ohio State as they always do. That game is in Ann Arbor this year, so it could be a huge opportunity for Michigan - especially if they can get to that point with one or fewer losses.
2017-18 Michigan Wolverines Betting Odds and Trends
Michigan is the sixth choice to win the national title at BetOnline at +1400. The price is reasonably fair, though it surely reflects some of the public attention that the team gets. Oddly, they are the fourth choice to win the Big Ten at +600. At least in relative terms, then, there is value there. They are favored by four points in their opener against Florida.
The team wasn't much of a team to bet on last year - they were just 6-7 ATS on the season. They were 2-5 ATS in their last seven, so they sure didn't finish strong. At least some of the issue is that they are always a public team, and the addition of Harbaugh certainly hasn't got them less attention. Despite having an elite defense they went "over" the total nine times in 13 games.
2017-18 Michigan Wolverines Predictions and College Football Picks
Obviously I think the team is going to win 15 games and win their first of likely consecutive national titles. I'm one of those obnoxious fans of this team that has thought that every season since I became aware they existed. While that might not be reasonable, I do like a whole lot about the team. They need to figure out the O-line and secondary, but they have plenty of talent, and the schedule sets up well for them. They have the potential to make it to the Ohio State game unbeaten, and more than one loss would be a major disappointment. This team will be better than some think.
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