Michigan Wolverines College Football Odds: How Lines Moved In Wake of Jim Harbaugh’s Possible Suspension

Michigan Wolverines College Football Odds: How Lines Moved In Wake of Jim Harbaugh’s Possible Suspension article feature image

Via Jaime Crawford/Getty Images. Pictured: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh prior to the Michigan Football spring game at Michigan Stadium on April 1, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is expected to miss the start of the season.

According to Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports, the University of Michigan and the NCAA are close to finishing negotiations for a four-game suspension for Harbaugh.

The suspension stems from alleged false statements Harbaugh made toward NCAA investigators. The agreement will be passed along to the NCAA Committee on Infractions which will then finalize the suspension. It could take weeks for the suspension to be finalized, and the NCAA committee could still adjust the suspension.

Michigan is slated to play East Carolina, UNLV, Bowling Green and Rutgers in its first four games of the 2023 season. All four of the games are at home.

Michigan was around a 36.5-point favorite against East Carolina to open the season, but those odds have fallen to Michigan -34.5 after news of Harbaugh's suspension hit the sportsbooks.

There were insignificant changes to Michigan's future odds.

"Michigan is in the same situation as Ohio State in 2018, when Urban Meyer was suspended for the first three games. A two-point deduction to the power rating hit the Buckeyes five years ago, and the same number applies to Michigan now. Ohio State would cover the first two games of the season against Oregon State and Rutgers, with a non-cover against TCU," Action Network's Senior College Football Writer Collin Wilson said.

"Harbaugh does not call plays, as Jesse Minter is in his second year as defensive coordinator. On the offensive side, Sherrone Moore has been the architect of the run game and offensive line. A two-point deduction will come off the Michigan power rating through one of the easier nonconference schedules in the nation."

Michigan is expected to begin the season in the top five in the major national polls. Michigan went 13-1 a season ago and returns most of its key players.

Harbaugh's suspension stems from an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations from members of Harbaugh's staff at Michigan. Former defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald is expected to receive a one-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA. MacDonald is now the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. Moore and tight ends coach Grant Newsome are also expected to receive sanctions.

Harbaugh's suspension is a signal that he admitted to some sort of dishonesty towards NCAA investigators, which can be considered a Level I infraction with the NCAA.

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