Michigan will attempt to get its first win of the season tomorrow against the Miami Ohio Redhawks and, despite last week's struggles, oddsmakers are factoring a comfy Wolverine win. They've installed Michigan as a 14-point tomorrow against Miami. My first thought is can Michigan even score 14 points? Wait, dont answer that.
Seriously, I'd just take two long marches down the field for TDs tomorrow just to prove the team can do it. Covering the spread or winning handily would be nothing but gravy. The line has not budged all week. Perhaps people aren't willing to fade the Wolverines just yet in the matchup because Miami was a disappointment in their opener versus Vandy. Playing at home, Miami was favored in the game and the line grew from -2 to -4 in the week leading up to the contest. A lot of people backed a MAC division favorite against an bottom tiered SEC team. A lot of people lost as Vandy outclassed Miami from start to finish.
The experts in the desert, however, are expecting the public to bet against Michigan all season long and have adjusted some of their lines accordingly. The site I use to get future lines had released over the summer a spot on three of Michigan's games, their road contests at Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State. Those lines remained largely unchanged in the lead up to the season opener. After opening week, the book took down all their future lines for the rest of the season and after a couple days of deliberation re-posted them to take into account new public perceptions after the first weekend of games. All three of Michigan's games on that board have changed dramatically. Lets take a look:
9/13 at Notre Dame. Opening Line, ND -3.5. Current Line, ND -8.5. Wow, i dont really know what to say here. A full 5-point leap in the spread. I about fell off my chair when I saw that. I am suspicious about this line as we dont even know what the Irish really has to offer yet this year. They are 20-point favorites in their opener tomorrow against San Diego State. If they struggle in that game, next week's line will probably come down a point or two. But, what if ND blows the doors off of the Aztecs tomorrow? They might be double digit favorites against Michigan when game week rolls around. From a betting standpoint, I like seeing Michigan the underdog in this matchup. The favorite has only covered the spread five times since the modern series resumed in 1978 and the underdog actually has a winning record straight up in this game in that time frame. Let this sink in: Notre Dame has not played a game since ending their worst season ever with a 3-9 mark. Yet, in order to entice the public to bet Michigan next week, oddsmakers feel the need to install ND as almost a double digit favorite. Yikes!
10/18 at Penn St. Opening Line, PSU -9.5. Current Line, PSU -13. Much like the above logic: Michigan has not lost to PSU in a decade, but in order to entice people into dropping some cash on the Maize and Blue, oddsmakers have made them nearly 2 touchdown underdogs.
11/22 at OSU. Opening Line, OSU -14.5. Current Line, OSU -18. Like the PSU game, this line has jumped by 3.5 points. Right now, the oddsmakers are saying this looks to be the biggest mismatch in the hisotry of this great rivalry.
Other things of import:
We now have a line on the Michigan St-Michigan game to be played at the Big House on 10/25. Remarkably, Michigan is a 1-point favorite right now.
Next week's clash of titans between OSU and USC is off the board. Originally, USC was a 5-point favorite, but its reasonable to assume this game has been pulled from the board while the Beanie Wells' status remains a mystery.
The only other line I saw that differed much from the original line from over the summer was in the Florida-Georgia game in early November. Originally, Florida was favored by 1 point, but that line has jumped siginficantly to -4.5. The Bulldogs lost their top run stuffer for the season and that appears to have been enough for the oddsmakers to finally label one of these teams as a distinct favorite in the contest.
Otherwise, not the most groundbreaking news, but I figured some readers might like to see how the odds have shifted on Michigan games based on their opening result.