Why are we favored vs Illinois?

Submitted by Dan Man on November 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 PM

We are 3 point favorites this weekend, apparently even after J.T. Floyd's injury, which surprised me.  Illinois, after stomping Indiana and Purdue the last two weeks, appears to be a much better team than we are.  They also destroyed Penn State earlier in the year.  Obviously our defense is in shambles and may be even more so after losing Floyd.  We haven't been able to stop anyone, including an FCS team and a walk on QB.  Yes, our offense has been moving the ball incredibly well, but it has also been prone to turnovers and inconsistency.

Anyway, I don't intend to convey pessimism; quite the contrary - I'm wondering whether this spread indicates some reason for optimism.  What does the gambling public know that I'm missing?  What have people seen that make them say, "I'm putting my hard-earned cash on Michigan"?  Just curious what people think...



November 3rd, 2010 at 10:57 PM ^

The only explanation I can come up with is that we have been competitive in most of our games despite abhorrent play in multiple phases of the game.  Maybe Vegas thinks that at some point we will get SOMETHING right and manage to make a game of it.


November 3rd, 2010 at 10:59 PM ^

Well I can see why the line might stay the same even with Floyd's injury.  Once you are bad enough, there isn't much of a real drop-off.  I mean, one undersized, slow cornerback giving a reciever a 15 yard cushion and having trouble tackling isn't much different than any other. 

That said, you are right- I would make Illinois 7 point favorites on Michigan, and even then I might take money on Illinois to cover.  I just question this defense's ability to stop anyone, period, and at this point I think their confidence has to have taken a shot to the gut.  Unless we see a Michigan team we haven't seen this year, I don't see how they beat Illinois without a lot of help from Illini mistakes.


November 4th, 2010 at 12:13 AM ^

I was in Vegas today for work and after rubbing my eyes in disbelief after seeing the line in the spoortsbook, I quickly put down 200 on Illinois. I am flying out for the game and am hoping to lose that money, but if I don't I at least will recoup some of my ticket money. And if Michigan wins by 2 I will buy a round for some worthy bar patrons after the game


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:01 PM ^

Number of people gambling on that game and don't watch michigan football > number of people gambling on that game that watch michigan football


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:17 PM ^

if it's a toss up then Vegas will give the home team a 3pt advantage.   it has something to do with what we have seen on this board.  People will see the three points given to UM and put money down on Ill.  this way Vegas gets money down on UM and Ill.


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:17 PM ^

is based on betting tendencies.  The early prediction is that more people will bet on Michigan on an even line.  I have a feeling it may drop in Illinois' favor as the week progresses.


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:27 PM ^

There's generally more action on teams like Michigan. You want to get an even split of bettors, not an exact correct prediction. More people bet on Michigan than Illinois.
<br>Remember, we started off almost a TD favorite vs. MSU.


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:20 PM ^

Michigan's offense is a reduction of Oregon. It's defense is Youngstown State to the 3rd power.

Illinois is basically a reduced by 10 Ohio State on both sides of the ball.

The game is in Ann Arbor, but the down in fronters will be enjoying too much fondue and chardonay to raise their voices in support. Oh, and they want Rodriguez fired.

Do the math.


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:41 PM ^

more people will bet on Michigan because of reputation and loyalty. Vegas tries to set a line to attract the same amount of money on each side of the bet. It is the Michigan premium that expands when it is not a big game. It has very little to do with who some guy running the book in Vegas thinks is the better team.


November 4th, 2010 at 12:05 AM ^

Yooper is correct, the line is simply the balance point for bets on either side.  You have to be careful using the line to help you pick winners...  3 points for home team, but I think fanbase also has a lot to do with the line...  There are a lot of Michigan fans betting to offset all of the realists who likely see this leaning Illinois' direction.

Anyone have  a good link to a Vegas prediction site?  I know Vegas does a lot more analysis than anyone else, and there is good info if you know where to find it...  Cowherd talks about it, but I haven't found anything useful in my limited effort...


November 4th, 2010 at 8:11 AM ^

As the last few years of Michigan football have shown, needing to win a game badly has no discernable impact on whether or not Michigan actually wins.  I don't think we need to run down last year's list of games Michigan "needed".  I hope the defense gives a great performance and turns the corner, but I don't see it in the cards this week.


November 4th, 2010 at 12:11 AM ^

Maybe I am a hopeless optimist, but I still think we will beat Illinois.  Scheelhaase is mistake-prone, especially playing on the road.  Yes our defense still allows a lot of third down conversions, but Scheelhaase has thrown some horrid picks this year on third down plays.  They have a good defense, but we have been able to move the ball and score on good defenses this year.  If we can come out aggressive on both sides of the ball, we can get some early momentum, and come away with the win.


November 4th, 2010 at 1:56 AM ^

Going to put my house and my first unborn child on Illinois........That has been my gambling technique this year with michigan. Putting money on the opponent. So, I always feel good in a way on Saturdays. I do admit my Saturdays feel better when Michigan wins. The Lions were i believe minus 3 against the Redskins and I knew that was a sucker bet. My friends all took the Redskins, while I told them the Lions will win that game. According to this line, Michigan wins guys. So, we have that going for us! Keep your fingers crossed.....GO BLUE!


November 4th, 2010 at 2:01 AM ^

I guess they don't really know what to predict here (we are going up against Ron Zook, after all), so they're concluding that since we have the same overall record as Illinois (5-3) and are at home, we should give the standard three points. 


November 4th, 2010 at 4:54 AM ^

I really hope for a win Saturday so I don't have to read negative threads the rest of the weekend.  We know the defense is bad, especially now with Floyds injury.  But if we lose, I can predict the many threads that will be started.


November 4th, 2010 at 8:03 AM ^

Because the betting houses know there is a hard core base of UM fans who will put money on Michigan regardless of external reality.

Bobby Boucher

November 4th, 2010 at 8:33 AM ^

Maybe the defense will play better since the offense they will be facing is similar to the offense they see in practice.  Or maybe people figure that the sun shines on a dogs ass every now and then.