Jim Harbaugh Has Been Excellent Against the Spread Early in Big Ten Play

Sep 19, 2018 12:48 PM EDT
  • Jim Harbaugh is undefeated ATS in Big Ten openers while at Michigan, going 3-0, covering double-digit lines each time.
  • The line for Michigan (-19) against Nebraska is larger than any other Big Ten opener in Harbaugh's tenure.
  • In general, Harbaugh has covered early conference spreads.

Michigan’s back on track and suddenly might have an offense that runs out of more than just 21 personnel.

Led by Shea Patterson, the Michigan offense has scored more than 40 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2016. In 2017, the Wolverines didn’t score more than 36 points against anyone.

While the offense has shown enough potential to make bettors think a cover against 0-2 Nebraska is likely, something else should secure your bet on the Wolverines:

Jim Harbaugh’s undefeated record against the spread in Big Ten openers.

Despite the perspective that Harbaugh’s tenure has been disappointing (it mostly has), he’s been really good when conference play begins.

Harbaugh is 5-2-1 ATS in Big Ten play during the first half of the regular season.

  • In 2015, Michigan (-14.5) beat Maryland on the road, 28-0.
  • In 2016, Michigan (-15.5) beat Penn State, 49-10. The Nittany Lions ended up winning the Big Ten.
  • In 2017, Michigan (-13.5) beat Purdue, 28-10.

As the Wolverines get set to battle the Cornhuskers to open conference play, the points are increasing by the day, with Michigan now a 19-point favorite.

That’s a lot higher than it has been in previous years. Does Vegas want those uninformed to go with a +19 pick with Nebraska?

The line is big, and -14.5 it would be a lock. What makes this 3-0 record ATS and -19 line one I like?

The one time Michigan didn’t win by at least 20 in Harbaugh’s first three seasons, it was due to quarterback issues, including losing Wilton Speight for the season that game against Purdue.

This time around, Michigan’s Patterson is chucking the ball at a 70% accuracy rate. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s star freshman quarterback, Adrian Martinez, is questionable for Saturday’s contest.

Count on Harbaugh’s teams continuing their success early in Big Ten play.

Credit:

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jim Harbaugh

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OPEN
CURR
# BETS
PSU
RUTG
48.5
+26
50.5
+28
ARK
MSST
45.5
-18.5
47
-21.5
CIT
BAMA
60.5
-51
62.5
-52
OSU
MD
58
+17.5
58.5
+14
NW
MINN
51
+3.5
47.5
-2.5
IDHO
FLA
59
-39.5
59
-40
MTSU
UK
45
-13
46.5
-16.5
UTAH
COLO
48.5
+7
47
+7.5
USU
CSU
68
+26
66.5
+28.5
SYR
ND
62.5
-10
64.5
-10.5
BC
FSU
49.5
+1
48.5
PK
WVU
OKST
69.5
+5
74
+6.5
MASS
UGA
62
-44
66.5
-41
IND
MICH
53
-27.5
55
-28.5
ORST
WASH
57.5
-31
58
-33.5
DUKE
CLEM
58
-27
58.5
-28.5
RICE
LSU
51
-44
52
-42.5
KU
OKLA
68
-34.5
70.5
-34.5
CIN
UCF
59.5
-8
61
-7
ISU
TEX
51
-3
48
-2.5
ARIZ
WSU
60.5
-10
62
-10.5