Michigan History: Wolverines Largest Favorites Since 1980 This Saturday Against Hawaii
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: JJ McCarthy (Michigan)
Hail to the victors has a whole new meaning for the Michigan Wolverines this week.
The Wolverines opened as a 50-point favorite at home against the Rainbow Warriors, making this just the seventh game since 2005 where one FBS team opened as at least a 50-point favorite over another FBS team.
Of the previous six teams to open as a 50-point favorite over an FBS opponent, four were Alabama Crimson Tide teams under Nick Saban.
Wait… How Big?
As of Saturday morning, Michigan is up to a 52-point favorite in Ann Arbor against Hawaii, and betting markets report 66% of betting tickets on Michigan to cover the spread, according to Action Network data.
Prior to this week against Hawaii, Michigan had never been listed as a favorite above 45.5 points. The Wolverines’ previous high came 10 years ago against UMass (a 63-13 win on Sept. 15, 2012).
Dating back to 1980, Michigan has only been listed as a 40-point favorite or higher three times prior to this week.
On the other side of the field, Hawaii is actually receiving over 50 points as an underdog this week vs. Michigan. The years of Colt Brennan, Tommy Chang and even Kealoha Pilares are well behind them.
Since 2000, Hawaii has never closed as more than a 44-point underdog in any game. In that span, the Rainbow Warriors have only closed as a 38-point underdog or higher four times, all on the road against powerhouse opponents:
- +52: 2022 at Michigan
- +44: 2012 at USC (L, 49-10)
- +42.5: 2015 at Ohio St (L, 38-0)
- +38.5: 2000 at TCU (L, 41-21)
- +38: 2016 at Michigan (L, 63-3)
Over the last 15 years, Hawaii has played on the road against a top-10 opponent just five times entering this week.
In those five games, Hawaii is 0-5 straight up, but the Rainbow Warriors are 2-3 against the spread, being outscored by a total of 248-30, failing to cover the spread by 7.1 PPG.