November 4th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

He's saying uninformed people will take Michigan to cover because they are Michigan-fer-god-sakes not knowing that Michigan is not quite itself and northwestern is a little more than you would normally consider NU to be.


November 4th, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

Vegas isn't trying to do anything more than get the most action on every bet. The more people who throw down cash the more the house makes on the extra 10% or whatever the sportsbook charges these days. That being said, I think we need to jump on this NW team early. They have the firepower to put up a ton of points, and our offense is not that prolific. Who is starting for us at QB, BTW?


November 4th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

Who is starting at QB for NW is also a good question. I doubt either one will be able to air it out against us, so as long as we can contain the Colter and Mark read option attack we should be fine.


Edit: NW is 113th in passing yards per game, and 13th in rushing yards per game. Hopefully our front seven comes to play and we see a lot of Kovacs rolling into the box.


November 4th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

Um, I'm not sure you understand how sports betting works. Vegas needs (or at least wants) an equal amount of action on both sides so that no matter who wins, Vegas wins by means of their rake. They do not want to be betting against you that a team will or will not win.


November 4th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^

People say this all the time but it's not necessarily true. If Vegas knows the public has a strong lean one way they're willing to take a side against it as long as they feel the odds are well in their favor. What you're saying is generally true but not always and probably not as often as you think.


November 4th, 2012 at 8:32 PM ^

You're right, and there are people who make a living off betting against popular teams because of that. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the effect is only in the 1-2 point range. That's enough to cheat the odds in their favor a little without making ridiculously unrealistic lines that sharps would jump all over with big money. Generally though, Vegas would prefer to have equal money so they don't depend on the outcome of the game.

I'm really curious how the 'Denard is uncertain/Denard is staring/jk, Denard's not starting now five minutes before kickoff' played out from Vegas's perspective. I assume a bunch of people jumped on Minnesota last minute and then got burned when Devin Gardner decided to be awesome.


November 4th, 2012 at 10:52 PM ^

I don't think I'm getting the difference between the two positions being argued.

If there's a public bias in favor of a particular big-name team, wouldn't the bookie need to slide the line a bit in that team's direction to get the money aligned on both sides?

The sharps might get to take a bit advantage of the public bias but if I'm the bookie I just want my rake. If I put up the line I actually think, I'm going to end up with too much money placed on the bigger name.


November 5th, 2012 at 12:28 AM ^

I'm pretty sure we're all saying the same thing.

Keep in mind though that sharps are typically willing to bet a lot more than the general public, so a very small contingent holds a lot of sway over the line. Hence my assertion that Vegas can't really move the line more than a point or two to account for public bias.


November 4th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^

The latest Massey numbers, which will be updated tomorrow, would have Michigan by a touchdown  right now, I believe, and the Sagarin rankings (82.40-77.20 plus the 3 points for home field advantage) would tell a similar story. I assume the line on Saturday might actually be closer to this. 

Having said that, I think we should be able to stunt Northwestern's rushing attack enough to get at least a push on that opening line, just looking at stats (we could play well enough on defense to win by 2 TDs, in other words). We're closely matched when it comes to offensive production by the numbers,  but superior on defense (except in rushing defense, but as others have pointed out, scheduling can skew these stats - in the conference, we've done quite well). The key will likely be getting out to a fast start in this one, I think. 



November 4th, 2012 at 7:28 PM ^

I'll take Michigan.  I've expected every conference game, except for MSU, to be a blow out so far this season and it has.  I don't think that changes for these next two games.


November 4th, 2012 at 7:45 PM ^

We have beaten the spread for every game except for MSU.  I expect this to be the same.  We have one of the best defenses in the big ten that can limit teams to around 10-15 points a game.  (see all of our opponents from ND to Minn besides Nebraska)  I believe we'll win 35-14.


November 4th, 2012 at 7:46 PM ^

I'd like to beat Northwestern by much more than 13 after Fitzgerald's "Michigan did nothing," comment in regards to last year's game when we shut them out 28-0 in the second half. 

The comment was almost on par with Bob Davie's "We have to ask ourselves, did Michigan beat us or did we beat ourselves?" response after the Notre Dame game in '97. 

Screw you, Fitzgerald.  I hope we beat you by 40. 


November 4th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

On any specific shift in momentum in the game... "I don't think we ever lost control, we just turned the ball over. When you give up scores off those turnovers, that's where you get the swings. We have to play better team football together. We thought we had a good plan coming into the second half. Again, we as coaches didn't think there was anything schematically that we didn't adjust to properly. We feel like we stopped ourselves and that's a little disappointing".

In their postgame quotes archive, this is the only thing similar to what you reference, and Fitzgerald says a lot of the standard postgame compliments to Michigan/Hoke/Denard, including this opening statement:

Opening statement... "Credit goes to our opponent, obviously. They came back in the second half and made the plays that winners make. We turned the ball over and they capitalized on it. Now as coaches, we've got to look critically at a number of things. No. 1, we've got to look schematically to see how we can help our guys. No. 2, make sure we've got the right people in there at the right times. We lost momentum again. We've got to do a better job of picking each other up. There are a bunch of guys in that locker room that are very disappointed in the way we played but we'll stick together and we'll find a way. I'd like to thank our great fans tonight for the support, especially our students. It was absolutely an outstanding environment. We thank them and expect it moving forward and we'll see them back in a few weeks for homecoming."


November 4th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

I think NW is going to be a tough matchup. Fitzgerald is going to have them ready to go coming off a bye week. Keep in mind their only losses are at State College and on against Nebraska on a last minute TD.

Michigan wins a tight one: 27-24.


November 4th, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

It does concern me a little that they had a week off before playing us.  But I am encouraged by how much their defense gives up to opponents: 39 points to Penn State, 29 to Indiana, 29 to Nebraska.  Even lowly Syracuse scored 41 on them. 


November 4th, 2012 at 8:14 PM ^

Good point. To me, it comes down to coaching, however. Fitzgerald is one of the (few) good ones in this conference. I just don't see him getting blown out with two weeks to gameplan against a team that is not playing their best football right now.

Michigan wins ultimately because they are at home and their defense will slow down the spread attack. This is one of those games, however, where I see the road team come out swinging in the first half. Will Denard be ready to go? Will panic set in if NW takes an early lead?

NW covers, Michigan wins.

NYC Blue

November 4th, 2012 at 8:49 PM ^

I think the line is about right.  Nebraska is a similar spread style, but much more effective and we played them in Nebraska.  We held them to 23.  I think it is reasonable to think we would hold NW in the Big House to 14 points or sonething like that.

So the question is, do we think the offense can put up 26-30 points?

I have not reviewed NW defense this year, but I do not think that is unreasonable.  Remember, for whatever reason, the offense does significantly better at home (more than the typical homefield advantage)


NYC Blue

November 4th, 2012 at 9:15 PM ^

True, but on the other hand, against Nebraska the defense was repeatedly put in poor position by the offense both with turnovers and 3-and-outs.  Also, I think that more than the spread style it was the high tempo that bothered us, and NW does not do that (at least not to the extreme that Nebraska does).


November 4th, 2012 at 9:49 PM ^

Obviously this is a pretty subjective statement on my part. I think that aside from Urban Meyer, there is no other proven great coach. Then looking at what's left, you have a couple coaches that (IMO) have shown enough to be deemed "rising stars" in the coaching world: Fitzgerald and Hoke. It may be too soon to say anything definitive about O'Brien, but he's had a strong debut. The next tier is made up of average to slightly above average coaches that wouldn't be too high in demand were they to leave their current post: bielema, pellini, dantonio, ferentz.

Keep an eye out on Indiana's coach, however. He's turning that team around. His stock could rise.


November 4th, 2012 at 9:41 PM ^

Agreed. In fact, I think 10 out of the 12 coaches in this league are doing a good job, just not necessarily this year.

Hoke, Meyer, Pelini, Fitzgerald are 4 obvious ones that should need no discussion.

Wilson and Kill have their program's playing much more competitively than they have for years.

O'Brien has done a ridiculously good job considering the offseason turmoil, and has made McGloin look significantly better than expected.

Ferentz is having a down year but it was only a couple years ago he took Iowa to an Orange bowl win, and has done a lot in the past.

Bielema and Dantonio are both gigantic douches but there's no question that they've both led their programs to more success than their programs have seen in awhile.

Honestly Hope and Beckman are the only 2 out of 12 that are "bad" coaches, and I'm not even positive you can make a case for Beckman yet since it's his first year.