Michigan Win Total Prediction
After a promising debut season with the Michigan Wolverines in 2015, is Jim Harbaugh primed to lead U-M to something more in 2016?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Wolverines are listed with an over/under of 9.5 wins for the 2016 regular season. The over is listed with a line of -160, while the under has a line of +130. Michigan is also listed with 9/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs and +160 odds to win the Big Ten Championship.
Harbaugh surprised many by electing to jumping to Michigan in 2015 after a successful run with the 49ers in the NFL. He immediately brought the Wolverines back into the national picture with his recruiting and then led them to a 10-3 record in his first season with a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten. However, the two losses came against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State.
The big problem for Michigan last season was its offense. The Wolverines didn’t have a reliable way to move the ball against a good defense. The run game sputtered and QB Jake Rudock wasn’t the big arm that could carry them on his own. This season, Michigan is hoping the run game can take a step forward behind the legs of De’Veon Smith. The Wolverines will have to replace Rudock under center, and that will bring a lot of questions about the quarterback position. However, whomever is the starter, they will have a lot of strong targets like tight end Jake Butt and receivers Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh. Michigan also may look to get star athlete Jabrill Peppers more involved in the offense this season.
Michigan doesn’t have many challenges on the schedule outside of Big Ten play. The Wolverines host Hawaii, Central Florid and Colorado to start the season. That should be a 3-0 start. They also host Penn State, Wisconsin, Maryland, Illinois and Indiana in conference play. Wisconsin and Penn State could be tough, but if Michigan wants to take the next step, it has to win those games. A road trip to Rutgers should be a win as well, which leaves road trips to Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State as the keys to 10 wins. Winning at Iowa hasn’t been easy and the Wolverines seem to have a stigma against beating Michigan State right now. The Wolverines also don’t seem ready to contend with Ohio State after last year’s 42-13 loss at home. Still, all Michigan has to do to get to 10 wins is take care of business at home and win two road games. Rutgers is one, Iowa or Michigan State could be two.
2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL WIN TOTAL PICK: MICHIGAN OVER 9.5 (-160)