Michigan Wolverines Football: Vegas Sets Over/Under Win Total, Early Game Lines For Michigan Football
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Vegas Sets Over/Under Win Total, Early Game Lines For Michigan Football

Michigan football is looking to bounce back.

2020 was a unique and disappointing season for the Wolverines, who posted a 2-4 record, saw three of their games be canceled and failed to win a contest at home for the first time in program history.

But with the offseason came changes, including six new assistant coaches and a revamped recruiting department, and the opportunity for head coach Jim Harbaugh to right the ship once again.

Despite a quiet offseason — Harbaugh only met with the media once during spring ball and there hasn't been much chatter from the national media — Vegas oddsmakers expect Michigan to be much improved after a disastrous 2020.

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Michigan Wolverines football head coach Jim Harbaugh has won 49 games in six seasons (2020 was a shortened campaign) at U-M.
Michigan Wolverines football head coach Jim Harbaugh has won 49 games in six seasons (2020 was a shortened campaign) at U-M. (AP Images)

DraftKings Sportsbook has set the Wolverines' over/under win total at eight, while Barstool Sportsbook has it at 7.5. Barstool has also given Michigan 10-1 odds (+1000) to win the Big Ten, behind Ohio State (-155), Penn State (+700) and Wisconsin (+800), and 9-1 odds (+450) to come out ahead in the Big Ten East Division, tied with the Nittany Lions and trailing only the odds of the Buckeyes (-250).

Michigan was the second-worst team in college football at covering the spread last season, doing so only 16.7 percent of the time (once in six games). Vegas has already released some early game lines for the season, including for all 12 of the Wolverines' tilts (shown below).

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Michigan Early Game Lines Via Barstool Sportsbook
Date Game Line

Sept. 4

Western Michigan at Michigan (-17.5)

Sept. 11

Washington at Michigan (-1.5)

Sept. 18

Northern Illinois at Michigan (-27.5)

Sept. 25

Rutgers at Michigan (-16.5)

Oct. 2

Michigan at Wisconsin (-9.5)

Oct. 9

Michigan at Nebraska (+2.5)

Oct. 23

Northwestern at Michigan (-9.5)

Oct. 30

Michigan at MSU (+6.5)

Nov. 6

Indiana at Michigan (-3.5)

Nov. 13

Michigan at Penn State (-7.5)

Nov. 20

Michigan at Maryland (+6.5)

Nov. 27

Ohio State at Michigan (+13.5)

Breaking Down Michigan Football's Early Game Lines

• As mentioned above, Barstool Sportsbook has Michigan's over/under win total set at 7.5, but they have the Wolverines coming out on top in nine of their games when setting the individual lines. It must be noted, however, that three of the games — Washington, Nebraska and Indiana — have spreads within four points and are essentially toss ups.

• The biggest surprise is that the Wolverines are favored over Indiana. Considering that home-field advantage is typically a three-point swing, this would be a pick 'em game on a neutral field.

That even feels like a stretch — at least right now. The Hoosiers are returning eight starters on offense — including redshirt sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. — and nine starters on defense, after posting a 6-1 regular-season record a year ago and finishing second in the Big Ten East.

• Another one that is fairly surprising is Michigan being a 9.5-point favorite over Northwestern, the reigning Big Ten West champions. A closer look, though, suggests that the Wildcats are hitting the reset button themselves, with only seven total starters returning from a year ago. Northwestern has also beaten Michigan only twice in 13 tries.

• It appears that Vegas took notice of Michigan State's upset win over Michigan last season, and reflected that in the tight game line of 6.5. The Spartans are projected to win four games this year, almost half of what the Wolverines are expected to win, but Barstool is expecting a contest within a touchdown.

• Outside of a tough challenge Sept. 11 when Washington comes to town, Michigan's non-conference schedule — and really its first four games — set up nicely.

Western Michigan has a high-powered offense for a MAC team, but the defense is suspect and they shouldn't be able to hang for four quarters. Northern Illinois went winless this season and isn't a threat. Rutgers took the Maize and Blue to triple overtime a year ago, but this one will be in front of a homecoming crowd in Ann Arbor and Michigan should roll.

Speaking of the Washington game, that one will be huge for momentum heading into the rest of the campaign. If the Wolverines are able to come out on top in that one, they'll likely be 4-0 heading to Madison for a date with Wisconsin Oct. 2.

• The Wolverines haven't kept it within single digits against Ohio State since 2017, and they lost by a combined 52 points in the last two meetings, but they're only 13.5-point home underdogs against the Buckeyes Nov. 27. OSU has plenty to replace, including first-round draft pick quarterback Justin Fields, but they have enough talent to reload. That is reflected by the fact that they're over/under win total is set at 11.

Unsurprisingly, Michigan's toughest two games outside of Ohio State are expected to be at Wisconsin and at Penn State, a pair of programs that the Wolverines have struggled against the last two seasons.

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