Michigan vs. Maryland College Football Picks: Wolverines to Cover 16 Point Spread

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 11:39 AM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2015 11:39 AM GMT

The Michigan Wolverines are coming along at a faster pace than most people anticipated. That the team is getting better under Jim Harbaugh is absolutely no surprise, but the Wolverines are suggesting that they might be ready to contend for the Big Ten sooner rather than later. The Maryland Terrapins, after making a bowl game last season, have already picked up multiple losses before the start of the Big Ten season. They are in trouble, and everything that’s happening inside the locker room is giving people further cause to doubt the Terps this season.

Momentum
The Wolverines are full speed ahead. They are not reinventing the wheel, but they are certainly getting better at the things they do best, and also at the things they haven’t done very well. The defense is the strength of this team, and it has now allowed no more than seven points in three straight games, bludgeoning opposing offenses with power on the defensive line, assignment-minded linebackers, and swift defensive backs who are shrinking the size of the field. Jim Harbaugh has assembled a great defensive coaching staff, and the results clearly show how well coached the Wolverines are on defense. Meanwhile, though, the Wolverines’ offense is reducing mistakes and is slowly coming along as a unit that might not necessarily win games, but will no longer lose them. That’s real progress in a month’s time, a sign that this program is maturing under its new coach.

Maryland is in huge trouble, beyond the fact that the Terrapins have just lost in a blowout to West Virginia. What was a lot more distressing is that earlier this week, a players’ meeting occurred without the knowledge of head coach Randy Edsall. There is a disconnect between the players and the coaching staff, and this is not something which is new to Edsall-coached teams. They have had to deal with friction before. Edsall is a guy who overcomes a bad season with a good one. It’s why he’s lasted this long in the business. However, he has seen some seasons get away from him, and this could be just such an example at Maryland.

 

Line Moves
The college football odds opened at minus-16 points for Michigan and has stayed there. It’s a lot of points for a road team in a conference game, and the big story here is that the line hasn’t gone down, rather than up. No downward movement means that bettors aren’t touching Maryland. They don’t trust the Terrapins here.

Notable Injuries
Michigan has dismissed offensive lilneman Logan Tuley from the team. Running back De’Veon Smith is listed as questionable for this game with a leg injury. Fullback Joe Kerridge is questionable with a leg injury. Wide receiver Brian Cole is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Defensive back Dymonte Thomas is questionable for undisclosed reasons. So are linebacker Mike McCray, tight end Tyrone Wheatley, and running back Wyatt Shallman.

Maryland defensive lineman Adam McLean is out for the season due to eligibility issues. Tight end Andrew Isaacs is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Defensive back Antwaine Carter is out for the season with an Achilles injury. Offensive tackle Mike Minter is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Wolverines are playing such lights-out defense that their offense doesn’t need to be great to cover for college football picks. Michigan could easily win this game by a score to 30-10. Michigan doesn’t have to score 40 to cover. Take Jim Harbaugh’s team, which is on a roll.

Free College Football Pick: Michigan -16 at Bovada

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