After routing Hawaii in its season opener last week, Michigan enters its Week 2 matchup against UCF as a heavy betting favorite.
The Michigan Wolverines are 15–0 straight up and 10–5 against the spread in their last 15 games as a betting favorite of three touchdowns or more. The Wolverines will look for another win and cover as big favorites on Saturday afternoon when they host the Central Florida Knights.
Michigan is a 35.5-point favorite in Saturday’s game according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In their season opener, the Wolverines were 35.5-point favorites against the Hawaii Warriors and went on to win that game by a score of 63–3.
In Jim Harbaugh’s first season as Michigan’s head coach last year, the Wolverines had one of the best defenses in the nation, ranking fourth in yards allowed per game (281) and 11th in points per game allowed (17.2). Michigan’s offense averaged 31.4 points per game last season, a total the team more than doubled in last Saturday’s win over Hawaii.
If the offense takes a step forward in Harbaugh’s second season to join the defense at an elite level, Michigan could fight for a playoff spot in 2016.
In five September games under Harbaugh, the Wolverines are 4–1 SU and 3–2 ATS per the OddsShark College Football Database. Michigan went 3–3 SU and 0–6 ATS in its previous six September games.
After years of playing under the pro-style offense of George O’Leary, the Knights took a big step in a different direction this off-season with the hiring of former Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost.
Frost’s fast-paced, no-huddle offense looked sharp in UCF’s 38–0 win over South Carolina State last Saturday as a 26-point favorite. The team has already exceeded last year’s win total, as the Knights were an abysmal 0–12 SU and 2–10 ATS in 2015.
The total for Saturday’s Knights vs. Wolverines matchup is set at 55 points. The OVER is 5–0 in Michigan’s last five games at the Big House.
Michigan isn’t likely to have much trouble dispatching the Knights at home, but 35.5 points is a big number to cover. The Wolverines’ defense could be kept on its toes in this one against UCF’s new spread option attack.