Michigan: Chalk to win the Big 10 and the rest of its games

Submitted by jamiemac on October 31st, 2011 at 11:12 AM

So, I am working on a Big 10 post for the JCB to hopefully time with another raucous MGoPodcast, which I assume will be posted later today. I am looking over stats, boxscores, depth charts and, naturally, I eventually check the updated odds.

Two shocks. Michigan is not only favored to win their remaining 4 games, but they are also the current betting chalk to win the Big 10 Championship.

All lines are from Sportsbook.com

Game lines:

MICH -4.5 at Iowa

MICH -3 at Illinois

MICH -3 vs Nebraska

MICH -5.5 vs Ohio State

Big Ten Championship Odds:

MICH +200 (2/1)

Wisco +300 (3/1)

PSU +300 (3/1)

Brasker +350 (3.5/1)

MSU +450 (4.5/1)

OSU +600 (6/1)

Down the stretch we come and MICH is somehow the favorite.



October 31st, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

While I am so excited about our future I want an f-ing time machine, I think this is a bit optimistic.

We are going to have trouble again Neb and OSU - particularly OSU. Braxton Miller is going to be a beast, and he is getting better every game.

Trust me, I think our future is bright, but I think these lines may have more to do with betting UM homers than it does with the quality of our team.

What do you think?


October 31st, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

I think you' re absolutely correct.

The betting lines are more due to the legions of Maize and Blue Koolaid drinkers rather than reality. 

The next two road games will determine our season and which bowl we will be playing in, against two decent-to-good teams.  The Black Shirts seem to have woken up from their season-long slumber Saturday (and the triple option will give our defense fits), and tOSUs line will probably maul ours.



October 31st, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

with your thoughts on Michigan struggling against tough defenses, but I think MSU's defense is the ceiling (best in the B1G).  With them being the best, we still put up 14 on them and really should have had more than that.  MSU certainly beat us up, but IMO the home field advantage we will have against tOSU that we didn't with MSU will be the determining factor in us winning the game.  Also, tOSU defense is far from legit.  They had 2-3 big plays against Wisconsin that really won them the game (one being the kickoff return to set them up for their final touchdown, which is not even credited to the offense).


October 31st, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

I think people are reading way too much into that Hail Mary pass against Wisconsin. The receiver was wide open on that play, Miller didn't have to thread the needle to score. While he is improving, IMO he's still a poor man's Denard.

I agree with you about the Homers betting on Blue though


October 31st, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

why we can't win the next four. The Senior class and upperclassmen are the difference makers going into the second half of the season. It's been some time since we had that in place! I think everyone on the team will play the games of their lives if we win the next two. 'The Game' is getting bigger by the week! Also of note, Nebraska is not playing that well on the road and I'm not sure about Sparty any more. Cousins looked like a rookie on Saturday. WTH! Maybe they peaked!


October 31st, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

I know it's a road game at Iowa, but Michigan is only favored by 4.5?

That Iowa defense doesn't look so good (you lost to MN!), I expect DR and Co. to put 30+ this upcoming weekend bringing home the win......


October 31st, 2011 at 11:49 AM ^

Iowa is good enough that they could win this week's game (especially when factoring in home field advantage).  The loss to Minnesota is indefensible but they were uncharacteristically horrendous in the red-zone - something like 4 or 5 blown opportunities versus 1 or 2 for the *season* prior that game. 

Plus, don't you know that James Vandenberg is Chad Henne?


October 31st, 2011 at 3:55 PM ^

Iowa is 5-0 at home this season, yes they haven't faced a great team at home but it still matters. Michigan will have a game on its hands, I think Iowa is embarassed at its play in the Minnesota game and will bring the heat on Denard, hoping to make him throw (literally) the game away.

None of the last 4 games are anything we should be over confident about.



October 31st, 2011 at 5:20 PM ^

 The whole jacked up Big 10 schedule has me confused I thought Minnesotta beat Iowa  in Iowa city last year to close out the regular season. They played in Minnesotta both times I guess. Iowa and Michigan play close games historically. Michigan is the better team this year and should win if they show up to play, but stranger things have happend.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

The other way. I can justify Nebraska because the road has been tough in the Big Ten. To be favored that much at Iowa is just silly.

But as said, the lines are based on game outcome, but betting, and after Iowa laid that egg people aren't going to pay attention to where the games are played and all that. So probably smart by Vegas, but not a line I'd want to touch.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

Since STATE has an easy schedule to finish the year.  They have Minn and IU at home.  Iowa and NW on the road. 

Is head to head the first tie breaker?  Becuase MSU would have one more loss (out of conference) then Michigan if both teams win out. 




October 31st, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^

If two teams are tied then its head to head as Tie breaker, but if theirs 3 teams tied, then it goes in order

  • Overall Record
  • Division Record
  • Records of the teams are compared against the next-highest teams within the division
  • Records are compared against all common conference opponents
  • The team ranked highest in the BCS standings after the regular season goes to the league championship game unless it is ranked within one spot of another tied team. In this case, the head-to-head result of the two teams determines the division champion
  • The team with the highest overall win percentage (outside of exempted games)
  • The division champion will be chosen by random draw

Honestly though, It will be decided within the first 2 stages, possibly 3rd.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

No, this is wrong.

The 3-team tiebreaker also starts with head-to-head (it's not clearly written in the rules, but it does state that the records of the 3 teams against each other is the #1 tiebreaker for a multi-team tie).


October 31st, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

This is a little premature IMO. We have looked good, but we don't even control our own destiny. We could win out and still not win the division. I think we probably finish 2-2 or 3-1 though we do have some tough games.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

Chalk - When a horse is the favorite -- or has the most money bet on it -- that horse is termed the "chalk." Interestingly, this term comes from the pre-computer era of the bookie. When a bookie recorded bets on a blackboard, the odds would change over and over as more and more people bet on the favorite. The horse became known as the "chalk" because the horse's name would disappear in chalk dust as the bookie constantly erased and lowered the horse's odds.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

I will be checking my betting site, but MSU should be the favorite to win the Legends based on schedule alone coming down the stretch.  I think I'm going to study Wiscy's path.   I still think they are by far the best team.  If they control their destiny assuming PSU loses to Neb or OSU than I think they are the best bet.  They will smoke Sparty in a rematch.


I did bet Mich at 30-1 so I feel better about that bet 

Look Up_See Blue

October 31st, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

I look at the 4 games ahead of us and try to remain very optomistic.  Then, I think of the bad passes and poor interceptions that Denard throws and I get worried.  This team has never been in this position before (competing for a conference championship) down the stretch.  We will see the true character of this ball club in the month of November because the pressure is certainly going to be there.  Let's Go Blue

Zone Left

October 31st, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

Michigan State's remaining schedule: Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana (PROTECTED RIVALRY HO!), and Northwestern.

Michigan's remaining schedule: Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, OSU

Nebraska's remaining schedule: Northwestern, PSU, Michigan, Iowa

I'm not sure how the tiebreakers work, so if any two win out, I'm not sure who goes to the title game. That said, MSU has by far the best shot at winning out. Iowa is easily the best team left on that schedule, while Michigan and Nebraska have serious challenges left. I wouldn't put Michigan as chalk to reach the title game, much less win it--although it's great to be having the conversation this late in the season.


October 31st, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

If Iowa or Nebraska win out then they go. If Michigan wins out and MSU loses a game, then they go. If MSU wins out and Nebraska loses a game, then they go.

If PSU wins out, they go. If OSU wins out and PSU loses to Neb/Wisc then they go. If Wisc wins out, PSU loses to Neb/OSU, and OSU loses a game, they go. (This last one seems more difficult, but PSU and OSU  will take care of one of the requirements and you just need the winner of that game to lose another like PSU losing to Nebraska or OSU losing to Michigan.)

Everyone else needs a miracle at ths point.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

This is a total public line. I think they expect to get a ton of money on Mich no matter what the odds are so they just put it really high.  That just becomes free money for them. Its not like a spread where sharps can come in and bet the other side.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

What will it take for Michigan to get to the BTCG?  I am hazey on the rules and I know M doesn't control their own destiny.  can someone enlighten? 

Thanks in advance...

EDIT> nevermind, just saw the new thread.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

Given those odds, I'd be tempted to dump a lot of money on MSU.  They have a MAC schedule remaining- they aren't the John L Spartans anymore, they're not losing any of those games- and will be in the B1G CG if Nebraska loses at Penn State or at Michigan.  I'd give MSU a solid 70% of making it there, and should be favored if they play anyone besides Wisconsin.

Yinka Double Dare

October 31st, 2011 at 12:02 PM ^

The only concern on MSU is they've been pretty much garbage on the road.  Loss to ND, that ugly-as-hell 10-7 win at OSU, and just got dominated in Lincoln. 

Of course, Michigan has played one real road game so far and looked pretty bad @MSU.  Granted, the trash tornado wasn't helping, but it didn't look good.  And now it's @Iowa right after Iowa somehow managed to lose their other big rivalry game to one of the worst Big Ten teams I've ever seen.  They're going to be pissed.


November 1st, 2011 at 1:27 AM ^

They were cruising along in decent shape, and at 5-2, they controlled their own destiny.

But by missing the gimme @Minny, Iowa went from a bowl team with nothing to lose to a team whose Pizza Bowl prospects are in grave danger. 


Sat, Nov 5

vs #15 Michigan

12:00 PM ET ESPNESPN 3 Tickets
Sat, Nov 12

vs #17 Michigan State

TBD Tickets
Sat, Nov 19

@ Purdue

TBD Tickets
Fri, Nov 25

@ #10 Nebraska

12:00 PM ET ABC Tickets

I see three expected losses and a toss-up @Purdue.

I imagine Iowa will play like the suddenly cornered animal it is.


October 31st, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

I won't be convinced we're going to win any of the next four games until they're in the books. I'm cautiously optimistic, but I just haven't seen the consistent dominance on the offensive or defensive lines that we're going to need against Nebraska and OSU especially. Time will tell how good this team is.

Blue Durham

October 31st, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

the championship game, and that they just finished their toughest stretch and that we have ours ahead of us, this is just hard to believe.

Michigan has played only 2 road games, going 1-1.  Next 2 games are against decent squads at Iowa and Illinois.

At home against a Nebraska team that just manhandled the team that beat us.

At home agains OSU, who we haven't beaten in ages.

MSU plays 2 average teams and 2 awful teams in Northwestern, Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa.  MSU has a much better chance of running the table than Michigan does.