Western Michigan (0-0) at Michigan (0-0) Gambling Preview + Predictions
Michigan fans will be glad to see Brady Hoke standing on the sidelines instead of Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez was never really loved at Michigan, and Hoke is seen as a true Michigan man.
This is a Wolverines football program that has really dropped off in recent years. It will be up to Hoke to engineer a turnaround, just as he has done recently at Ball State and San Diego State.
Western Michigan will be the Wolverines opponent, and they definitely have enough talent to make the Wolverines work hard in this season opener.
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Michigan Wolverines
Saturday September 3, 3:30 PM EST
NCAA Football Odds from BetOnline
Moneyline: Michigan (-500) Western Michigan (+405)
College Football Spread: Michigan -14 (-110) Western Michigan +14 (-110)
WMU vs. Michigan ATS Gambling Stats –>
Western Michigan is led by quarterback Alex Carder, who was named to the preseason Davey O’Brien watch list. Carder threw for more than 3,300 yards and 30 touchdowns last season. The Western Michigan offense was held back by a poor conversion percentage inside the red zone. What was the primary reason for those struggles in the red zone?
The Broncos have virtually no running game, and that is something they are looking to change in 2011. Carder will have the best receiver in the MAC on the outside in the form of Jordan White.
White set a school record with 1,378 receiving yards last year, and I expect another huge year from him this season.
Western Michigan will a terrific defensive front this season. All four starters from last year’s team will be back this season.
Drew Nowak and Travonte Boles are great at stuffing the middle of the line. The Broncos will be in the second year of defensive coach Dave Cohen’s scheme, and that should mean some improvement will be evident.
Lewis Toler is a very good cornerback for the team, but the rest of the secondary is a bit of a question mark.
How will the Brady Hoke era get started at Michigan? There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the change to more of a pro-style offense under Hoke. Denard Robinson accounted for 4,272 yards of offense last year, and he is a leading Heisman Trophy contender heading into 2011.
Robinson has great weapons on the outside to throw the football to, and he must improve his accuracy throwing the ball if the Wolverines are going to take a large step forward. Roy Roundtree has become Robinson’s go to guy on the outside, but Michigan definitely needs a tailback to step up and take some pressure off Robinson in the running game.
Expect this offense to be very good again this year.
The Michigan defense was absolutely horrendous last year. This unit allowed 458 points in 2010, which was the worst mark in Michigan’s long and storied history.
Greg Mattison has been brought in to install a new 4-3 defense, and Brady Hoke has made it clear that upgrading the defense is his first priority. Mike Martin and Craig Roh are both very good on the defensive line, but the back seven need to improve a lot.
Injuries slowed down the secondary quite a bit last season, but Michigan just lacks play makers at the linebacker spot.
I understand why the oddsmakers put the total very high here, but I think this one is set too high. Both teams will be trying to establish the run, and 61 points is awfully high for a season opener. I like the under.
NCAA Gambling Trends:
Over is 12-5 in WMICH last 17 non-conference games.
Over is 6-2 in MICH last 8 games on fieldturf.
MICH are 10-27 ATS in their last 37 games overall.
Over is 8-3 in MICH last 11 games overall.
Free College Football Pick: Under 61
Score Prediction: Michigan 35 Western Michigan 20
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