Michigan 2019 Betting Guide: How To Bet The New-Look, Faster-Paced Wolverines

Michigan 2019 Betting Guide: How To Bet The New-Look, Faster-Paced Wolverines article feature image
Credit:

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jim Harbaugh

Michigan 2019 Betting Odds

  • National Title: 14-1
  • To Win Big Ten: +160
  • To Make the Playoff: +250
  • Win Total: 10

Michigan Schedule, Projected Spreads

What to Like about Michigan

After a 10-1 start to 2019, Michigan closed last season by giving up 103 points combined to Ohio State and Florida. Changes were imminent, as head coach Jim Harbaugh hired Alabama assistant Josh Gattis to be the offensive coordinator and revamped some of the defensive coaching staff.

Gattis had served as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator in his years at Vanderbilt, Penn State and Alabama. The 35-year old coach has yet to call a game, but plans to implement a no-huddle, run-pass option attack.

As a college football gambler we love the advanced metrics like success rate and IsoPPP, Gattis having the word “explosive” capitalized and pinned to his Twitter account is music to my ears. This should be a win for all gamblers backing the Wolverines eventually. Despite a scheme change, another positive takeaway is the offensive line not turning over, as Gattis will continue the use of zone blocking.

Quarterback Shea Patterson will get his top targets back in Tarik Black, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins. Patterson had grown familiar with highly touted Black before injury, and will get the chance to revisit that chemistry this season.

What Could Cause Problems

Don Brown’s defense got smoked by Ohio State and Florida to end the season. The defensive coordinator for the Wolverines believes in his secondary enough to play man coverage with no cushion at the line of scrimmage. When a quarterback like Dwayne Haskins has burners at wide receivers, it can get ugly.

The toughest quarterbacks on Michigan’s slate include Ian Book at Notre Dame and Justin Fields at Ohio State. Any team having success with post or fly routes may give the Wolverines secondary issues. Michigan lost their top safety and starting cornerbacks, but have the benefit of a run-heavy schedule in September against Army and Wisconsin.

On our most recent Action Network Podcast, I was pessimistic with the Michigan program. While I do like the moves the Wolverines made in the offseason, there are still plenty of questions about how 2019 will play out. The Gattis offense may have a limited number of possessions against Army. This Black Knights team limited Oklahoma to just seven offensive possessions in regulation last year.

If Gattis’ no-huddle RPO package isn’t efficient in the Week 2 contest, will Jim Harbaugh assert himself back into the offensive decision-making? Also, running this many snaps per game might change the efficiency of the defense.

The Wolverines have averaged 71.5 snaps per game over the past three years. If that were to increase by just 10 snaps per game, the defense may not be conditioned to finish ball games.

Every single series will be under a microscope in Ann Arbor.

Other Nugget(s)

Plays per game were mentioned above as the offensive scheme changes to a no-huddle pro style spread. Based upon last year’s run-pass ratio and adjusted pace for all FBS teams, here is a look at the projected totals on the 2019 schedule.

Michigan was 22nd in standard downs run rate and 67th in passing downs run rate. The Wolverines adjusted pace ranked 123rd in the nation. All of these numbers will change with the wrinkles from Gattis.

Look to take advantage of any total that isn’t adjusted for these changes.

Bets to Watch

There are plenty of ways to get action on this new-look Michigan team. With an Action Network projection of 10.1, there just isn’t much value in a flat 10 or juiced 9.5 on the over.

A ‘YES’ to make the College Football Playoff is at +250, but is dependent on just one loss and a conference championship. While the schedule includes tough road games at Wisconsin and Penn State, the season comes down to Ohio State.

Forget the other futures, though, and go with Michigan +0.5 wins vs. Ohio State. That means they’ll need to win as many or more games than the Buckeyes. There’s plenty to dislike about the team in Columbus this season.

Numerous shops on the East Coast and in Las Vegas are offering this prop. This should come down to the final game in Ann Arbor, where Michigan is already listed at -3 in the game of the year market.