Today's Free Picks for
Posted July 29.
Michigan under 9½ +174
There are several pundits that have painted the Wolverines as a College Football Playoff team in 2019 but we’ve heard all that jazz before. As value bettors, we look to find the equity in the numbers. From prima facie, the Wolverines schedule looks comprehensive enough to certainly produce three landmines that will allow us to cash this ticket.
First off, the Wolverines have two tough road games in two of the most hostile environments in all of college football when they sojourn to Wisconsin in late September and to Happy Valley against Penn State in mid-October. After all, the Maize and Blue ventured to both locales under Coach John Harbaugh in 2017 and were outscored by a combined margin of 43 points by both opponents. In 2018, Michigan kicked off its campaign on the road at rival Notre Dame with all of the same jargon and hyperbole that surrounded the program like we see this year, yet the Irish were the ones who emerged victorious and went onto the CFP. Notre Dame will be coming to Ann Arbor a week after the Penn State affair and even if Michigan were to come up with a big win against the Nittany Lions, the Irish may very well be in position to submarine them again in a quintessential letdown spot. Then there is also the narrative that should Michigan come into the Notre Dame game with two losses that their likely dashed CFP hopes may also cause them to come in flat and stub their toe yet again and we could very well be in the money in October. Should the Wolverines survive September and October, they play Michigan State in mid-November, which could turn out to be the Wolverines toughest opponent of the year. It’s also very noteworthy that Michigan at Maryland is sandwiched between Notre Dame and Michigan State and Michigan at indiana is sandwiched between Michigan State and Ohio State. Those are two vulnerable spots.
Last but most certainly not least, there is the proverbial road bump of Michigan’s arch nemesis Ohio State. The Buckeyes have had their old foes’ number as of late but many think that can finally change this year with Urban Meyer no longer at the reigns of the Scarlet and Grey. The fact that the rivalry festivities are being hosted at The Big House fuels that sentiment. However, football is an emotional game and there is very little doubt that the Buckeyes will enter The Big Game with the bigger mental edge which is just another obstacle for Michigan to overcome. The aforementioned obstacles will be even harder to tackle with the interior of Michigan’s defensive talent being off-loaded in the off-season. The Wolverines’ were one of the best in the country in 2018 in defending the pass (2nd overall) but their rush defense will be vulnerable, as they address the voids left by Linebacker Devin Bush, Jr. and defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich. A run-happy team like Army who Michigan plays in the second week of football could potentially pose a threat too. Every year Michigan is projected to break through and they never do. Every year, Harbaugh has his “best team” ever and every year they underachieve. Perhaps it’s time to recognize that Harbaugh is overrated and that he’s not as good as the media suggests he is. Every year, Harbaugh gets out-coached in the biggest games. Every year, the Wolverines lose games they’re not suppose to and we see no reason why any of that is going to change this year. In fact, it might get worse because there is more pressure on Harbaugh to produce instead of making excuses. Under is the call.
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Michigan under 9½ +174 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.48)