It’s impossible to fully predict how the Michigan Wolverines will play this season, given that this team has a number of question marks in the offense, especially at quarterback. Still, after doubling their 2014 win total in Jim Harbaugh’s first season with the team in 2015, it’s a popular belief across the nation that the Wolverines could be in for even bigger things in the 2016 NCAA Football lines. And looking at their 2106 schedule, you can’t help but agree with the high expectations on the Wolverines. Even so, the unforgiving competition in the world of college football can lead to shocking upsets from the most unexpected quarters, so Michigan’s hyped expectations should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, here’s a brief game-by- game breakdown of Michigan’s games in 2016, complete with free NCAAF betting predictions.
Taking a Closer Look at 2016 Michigan Wolverines Betting Predictions for Every Game
.@UMichFootball will kick off in exactly 504 hours. (three weeks!)
— Michigan Athletics (@UMichAthletics) August 13, 2016
Sept. 3 vs. Hawaii
Don’t expect this one to be close… Hawaii has got nothing on either side of the football to give a competitive show against Michigan Oh, and the Rainbow Warriors were 0-6 on the road last season, so winning at Michigan will be a very, very tall order for them.
Prediction: Michigan 49, Hawaii 3
Sept. 10 vs. UCF
The Knights have made enough upgrades in the team to compete better than Hawaii, especially if quarterback Justin Holman can get his game up and running. But then again, Michigan beat Oregon State, UNLV and BYU by a combined score of 94-14, and that was when the Wolverines’ offense wasn’t even playing well. With the Wolverines bringing back plenty of experience in the offense and an absolutely loaded defense, another big win should be due for Michigan here.
Prediction: Michigan 39, UCF 14
Sept. 17 vs. Colorado
Again, there’s really nothing here for you people hoping for a close game. This one will be all about Michigan from the get-go, and the Wolverine onslaught won’t end until the final whistle.
Prediction: Michigan 37, Colorado 7
Sept. 24 vs. Penn State
Okay, now expect Michigan to get tested here. QB Christian Hackenberg is in the NFL now, but he did leave some decent pieces behind, with the likes of star running back Saquon Barkley capable of combining for a few decent number of scores against Michigan. The Wolverines should still win, but it won’t be anything in the region of a one-sided dominance.
Prediction: Michigan 27, Penn State 22
Oct. 1 vs. Wisconsin
If you love ugly games, then this one should pretty much fit right in your alley. Both Wisconsin and Michigan are good in defense and barely trusting in offense, so this game is likely to be riddled with many stops and turnovers, as both teams play conservative football. I like Michigan to win because Harbaugh is a master at making calls in such defense-minded contests, but I also like the Badgers’ solid front seven to ensure that this game stays very close.
Prediction: Michigan 21, Wisconsin 17
Oct. 8 at Rutgers
Will the Rutgers’ secret society hex on Michigan work here? I doubt it. But the presence of Robert Martin and Josh Hicks in this game should see the Wolverine run defense tested quite strongly. Add to the fact that this will be Michigan’s first road game, some jitters are likely to affect the players’ performance, with UM most probably starting the game slow and making it look like the Scarlet Knights Order of the Bull’s Blood curse is working. Things should, however, be better as the Wolverines pick up tempo in the second half, leading to another rather comfy win for the Wolverines.
Prediction: Michigan 29, Rutgers 14
Oct. 22 vs. Illinois
At 6-0, the Wolverines should be very confident in their abilities, with the team benefitting from having more experience together on the field. It won’t, however, be easy for Harbaugh, who will be facing former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith, a familiar foe from Harbaugh’s days in the NFL. That, along with the availability of talented players like Wes Lunt and Dawuane Smoot, will ensure that the Illini give a very resolute performance. But with the advantage of playing at home and having a better crop of experienced players, Michigan will most likely claim its seventh straight win of the season here.
Prediction: Michigan 28, Illinois 17
Oct. 29 at Michigan State
If wishes were horses, I’d really wish for a repeat of last year’s epic back and forth encounter between these two Michigan teams. Sadly, Michigan State’s 2016 offense is big step down from what it had last year, so the Spartans won’t have that attacking edge that made them so scary in 2015. Nevertheless, we should have a good defensive matchup, with both sides bringing a lot of quality to the game. In the end, I expect Michigan to have the last laugh, with Harbaugh and his boys doing everything humanly possible to avenge last season’s painful loss at Ann Harbor.
Prediction: Michigan 26, Michigan State 24
Nov. 5 vs. Maryland
Back at home after the predicted win at Michigan State, there is a high chance for a letdown performance from the drained Wolverines. But with Harbaugh backing orders from the touchline and dropping F-Bombs to players that are sleeping on his chance at the college football playoffs, the Wolverines should do just enough to get the win. Still, former UM defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin should be able to stay true to his clamping football reputation by helping the Terps to keep the game low-scoring.
Prediction: Michigan 21, Maryland 15
Nov. 12 at Iowa
2016’s most underrated Big Ten team Iowa and star quarterback C.J. Beathard would love nothing more than to ruin Michigan’s chances of winning the Big Ten title, and fortunately for the Hawkeyes, they have sufficient talent to pull the feat. Beathard, son of pop song writer Casey C.J. Beathard, is surrounded with solid tools in the offense to make a symphony of his own this game, while the advantage of playing at home (the Hawkeyes were 7-0 at home last season) should motivate the team to stick it to Michigan.
Prediction: Iowa 22, Michigan 19
Nov. 19 vs. Indiana
The Hoosiers nearly upset Michigan last season and things should more-or- less the same when they play the Wolverines this season. JUCO signing Richard Lagow is heralded as a talented player and he will be inheriting an experienced group of targets (see Devine Redding, Mitchell Paige and Simmie Cobbs Jr.), which will make life difficult for the Wolverines. Plus, the Wolves may fail to concentrate on this game, focusing more on the Ohio State season finale. Even so, this will be Michigan’s last home game and I expect the fans and players to be rallied up, something that will almost definitely see the Wolverines take care of business quite handily here.
Prediction: Michigan 40, Indiana 24
Nov. 26 at Ohio State
The Buckeyes have dominated the Wolverines in the recent past, including that blowout win last season, and it will be interesting to see what happens this year. The Bucks lost a lot of talent to the NFL draft, but Urban Meyer loaded the team with some solid talent that could keep things in check. More importantly, the Bucks have the best quarterback in the Big Ten in J.T. Barrett, and that will be tough to deal with. Obviously, the Wolverines are very improved in the defense, but with Barrett’s dual-threat abilities, there’s just so much Michigan will be able to do in this classic showdown. An upset is possible, I agree, but as things stand, I’ll go with Ohio State’s proven success against Michigan to continue here.
Prediction: Ohio State 27, Michigan 20
2016 Michigan Big Ten Season Total Prediction: 6-2
2016 Michigan Overall Season Total Prediction: 10-2