The Wolverines head into week one pegged as a 5.5 point underdog. Odds makers giving Harbaugh way too much respect, here is why.
Michigan vs. Utah College Football Picks
Week one College Football is finally here and we get a game full of outstanding story lines, but most of all we get a game with a lot of betting value.
The obvious story here is the return of Jim Harbaugh. Can he turn around the forgotten program of Michigan? I believe the answer is obvious that he will, but can he go on the road into Utah, against a quality Pac 12 opponent and cover 5.5 points? That is what I will answer for you. Just the name Harbaugh seemed to have given Michigan only 7 points. The opening line of -3 quickly hopped up to -5.5 within days, where Las Vegas is backing the coach, the sharps are backing Utah.
Lets take a look at some numbers. Michigan is 2-4 ATS its last 6 games on the road and Utah is 9 and 4 ATS its last 13! Michigan was 5 and 7 ATS and they have loss 6 out its last 7 road games. Coach Harbaugh did an outstanding job of preparation at Stanford and we all know about his success with the 49ers, but to get this young UNDER ACHIEVING Michigan ready for a physical Utah team that loves to ground and pound, this is a tough a test as any. Head to head Utah is SU and 3-0 ATS. The two teams most recent visit came in 2014 where Utah went into the BIG HOUSE and took care of the Wolverines 26-10. Now it is time for the Big 10 school to enter a very tough place to play Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Momentum, a word that does not play enough value into the minds of gamblers. Utah is coming up a 45-10 win over a rock solid Colorado State team. Covering the spread by 32 points! Michigan enters the season off two loses and another lack luster season.
Tough to stop? In my opinion Utah returns one of the top Running Backs in College Football. Senior Devontae Booker who rushed for 1512 yards 5.2 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns will make an early statement in the National spotlight. Utah has a physical, veteran offensive line that returns 4 starters. Finishing 3rd last year in the PAC 12 with an average 190.4 yards per game on the ground last season. Michigan was 15th vs the run last year allowing 117 per game last year, but they lost a lot of veterans and brought in a new defensive coordinator.
The underrated Travis Wilson takes charge under center yet again for the Utes. Wilson who completed 60% of his passes last year and only had 5 INTS posted a respectable 134.7 passer rating. I look for that to improve with another year of experience and another year in the Utah system.
Other than solidifying its coaching staff, Michigan is a mystery all over the place. While a prostyle offense is being implemented, can a quarterback battle grasp on that quickly and be ready for a Week one matchup on the road? I find it hard to believe. Jake Rudock and Shane Morris both have little experience and I look for it to be a very tough task to snag even a cover in Salt Lake City.
Utah is being overlooked here. This is a well rounded football that covers all aspects. Coming off an outstanding 2014 season, returning a bulk of critical players, playing a young mystery team in the Wolverines, I think we are looking at a 35-14 Utah run away. Harbaugh takes it in the chin in week one.
College Football Pick: Utah -5.5 at BetOnline