Sportsbooks and Fans Alike Favor Michigan Wolverines
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
The Michigan Wolverines are that college football betting oddity which gets on the good side of both odds-makers and fans who bet on college football. While not a sportsbook odds-on favorite like Alabama or Clemson, Michigan is right up there in the top tier, as we can see below:
• Odds to win NCAA football national championship: +1325
What’s more, an ESPN survey of Las Vegas sportsbooks found that more bets have been placed on the Wolverines than on any other team. What’s to account for this favoritism? Perhaps one answer to that question is head coach Jim Harbaugh. Coach Harbaugh is the brother of Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens coach John. Jim has had NFL experience as well, leading the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII – as fate would have, it was the same one that John won, thus it came to be known as the Harbaugh Bowl. College football betting fans have got to believe that a head coach with professional league pedigree – as well as talent running through his family – can surely take the Wolverines far. This will be Harbaugh’s second season as Michigan coach. Last season, Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 10-3 record (6-2 in Big Ten play) to finish third in the East Division. The team was invited to, and won 41-7, the Citrus Bowl versus Florida. The 2015 season was the first time Michigan went undefeated on the road in conference play since 1997.
The 2016 Wolverines will be short a few players from last year, though. For example, center Graham Glasgow and QB Jake Rudock were drafted by the Detroit Lions. Glasgow was named the team’s top offensive lineman and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference honors from coaches and the media. In his senior season in Michigan, Rudock completed 249 passes of 389 (64%) for 3,017 yards. He was the first QB in the history of the Wolverines to throw for at least 250 yards in five straight games, and the second to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season. Additionally, he was named MVP of the aforementioned Citrus Bowl.
Even with these absences, Michigan remains a college football betting favorite. Take, for instance, their opening game of the 2016 season versus the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on September 3rd:
Hawaii +41½ (-110) +30000
This will be the first time these two squads square against each other since the 1998 season. Back then, the teams met at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The Wolverines defeated the Rainbow Warriors 48-17 before a crowd of 34,193 spectators. Of course, in those days Michigan’s quarterback was none other than a young Tom Brady. The Wolverines opposing teams for the remainder of this season will include UCF, Colorado, Penn State, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Illinois, Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio State – the latter of which will represent a new chapter in their annual rivalry.