Ann Arbor has big expectations this year after the Michigan Wolverines made it to the College Football Playoff last season for the first time since it was introduced eight years ago.
To make it a repeat performance, they’ll have to win the Big Ten again, and they’ll have to do it without some of last year’s top-tier talent like Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. Hutchinson and Ojabo accounted for 25 of the team’s 34 sacks last season, so replacing their production will be challenging.
But you can expect Jim Harbaugh’s squad to be up to the task. After the team fell in the playoffs to the eventual champion Georgia Bulldogs, Harbaugh proclaimed that this was “just the beginning” for the Wolverines.
Will Harbaugh’s words ring true and see Michigan win the conference title for the second time since 2004? Let’s take a look at the Big Ten Championship odds available at some of the top Michigan sports betting apps.
Michigan Big Ten Championship Odds
|Ohio State Buckeyes||-200||-215||-220||-250|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||+1400||+1600||+1600||+1400|
|Michigan State Spartans||+2500||+2800||+2500||+2500|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||+3000||+2800||+2500||+2500|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||+20000||+15000||+20000||+20000|
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||+50000||+50000||+50000||+50000|
Can they do it again?: Michigan Wolverines odds to make the College Football Playoff?
Michigan Wolverines Preview
The Wolverines finally got off the schneid last season, defeating Ohio State in “The Game” and earning a spot in the CFP. It ended a run of four straight Big Ten Championships for the Buckeyes and was the Wolverines’ first since 2004.
Michigan was solid all season long, leading the Big Ten in rushing, fewest sacks allowed, and fewest tackles for loss allowed. The offense was consistent, averaging 443 yards per game, and the team kept turnovers to a minimum.
This year the Wolverines will have a couple of new coordinators and a host of different players on both sides of the ball.
The starting quarterback job is up for grabs between former five-star recruit J.J. McCarthy and Cade McNamara. Harbaugh has said it will come down to performance in camp with both players having an equal opportunity. McCarthy has the higher upside, but McNamara proved to be a steady QB that could win last year.
The wide receiving group looks excellent this year with the expected comeback of Ronnie Bell, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. The team will also see the return of Cornelius Johnson, Mike Sainristil, Roman Wilson, A.J. Henning, Andrel Anthony, and Cristian Dixon, making this a formidable group of wideouts.
Blake Corum will be the main man at running back. He’s coming off a 952-yard, 11-touchdown campaign and will look to improve on that with Hassan Haskins out of the picture.
Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo are now in the NFL, but the Wolverines’ defense should still be strong. Vanderbilt’s Jesse Minter will be taking over as defensive coordinator and will be looking to pick up where the D left off last season. Michigan allowed 330 yards and 17 points per game last year.
The interior line is solid with Mazi Smith and Kris Jenkins, and the Wolverines have some capable linebackers with Junior Colson (61 tackles) and Nikhai Hill-Green (50 tackles) returning.
The secondary has lost a few pieces, but there is still plenty of talent, and D.J. Turner and veteran safety R.J. Moten will lead the way.
Go Green, Go White: Michigan State Spartans Big Ten Championship Odds
Will the Wolverines Win the Big Ten Championship?
The Wolverines appear poised to make another run this year. The monkey is finally off their back, and the team will be confident after last year’s CFP appearance. You can almost pencil it in that Michigan’s hopes of advancing to the Big Ten Championship will once again come down to the Ohio State game.
The Buckeyes had the No. 1 offense in college football last year, and many are predicting that it will be even better this season, led by Heisman Trophy favorite C.J. Stroud. The Wolverines prevailed against the Buckeyes last November, ending an eight-game losing skid, and will now be hellbent on starting a streak of their own.
Michigan is the underdog to start the season, but that could all change by the time these two teams lock horns on Nov. 26 for a chance to represent the East in the Big Ten Championship game. Whichever team comes out of this game will likely be a heavy favorite against a weaker West representative in the final.
AP Photo/Tony Ding