Michigan, the highly-hyped No. 3 team in the 2016 ESPN Top 25 preseason rankings, is one of the teams that is attracting a lot of action in the 2016 college football odds, with many pundits and bettors voicing their optimism about a big season from the Wolverines. But are the Wolverines for real or it’s the online NCAAF betting public exaggerating Michigan’s ceiling in 2016? Here’s a sportsbooks preview of what you can expect from the Wolverines in 2015, particularly in regards to their 2016 season win totals.
Taking a Closer Look at the 2016 Michigan Wolverines Season Win Total Prediction
Led by versatile defensive back Jabrill Peppers, who can also play at the hybrid linebacker some times, the Michigan defense was among the best in the nation in 2015, and things could even be better now that the team returns a talented and experienced group that will be coached by highly- respected defensive coordinator Don Brown from Boston College.
The addition of some stellar recruits should, in the meantime, see the Wolverines play better in the offense than they did in 2015. Still, this team has several questions in crucial positions in the offense, especially at quarterback, and that could easily limit how far the critically acclaimed Jim Harbaugh-coached Wolverines go in 2016.
In all honesty, Michigan’s non-conference schedule is breezy and the one in the Big Ten this season is manageable, considering UM’s two biggest competitors in Michigan State and Ohio State have lost too much talent in the offseason and will be looking to establish new starters rather than continue from where they left off last season. That said, the presence of Urban Meyer as coach and J.T. Barrett as quarterback in Ohio State will keep the Bucks in the game vs. Michigan. Still, with a rebuilding defense to support the offense, it’s will be very difficult for the 2016 Ohio State team to blowout (or beat) the Wolverines like they did in 2015.
For the Spartans, well, there isn’t much to expect from Mark Dantonio’s inexperienced squad that will be returning just three starters in the offense and a pretending-to- be-strong defense that was hammered 38-0 by Alabama in the 2015-16 college football playoffs after ‘miraculously’ winning the Big Ten title last season. So, in short, don’t expect the Spartans to fluke-win over the Wolverines like they did in that heartbreaking Michigan loss in 2015, unless Dantonio’s boys somehow magically pull out another unexpected rabbit out of their hats of tricks.
My Final Remarks and Betting Prediction
Yes, the Wolves improved from 5-7 in Brady Hoke’s final season in 2014 to 10-3 last year under Harbaugh, and we all agree that Harbaugh is an uber-talented coach and Michigan’s defense will kick ass in 2016. But without a reliable offense (read that Houston transfer John O’Korn and competitors Wilton Speight and Shane Morris who are fighting for the starting QB job); I can’t simply trust the Wolverines to win as many as 10 games.
So even if the Wolverines manage to sweep their road trips against the Spartans and Buckeyes (which I highly doubt will happen, considering these are the same two teams that beat UM in Ann Arbor last year and have owned Michigan in recent times); Michigan’s less-than- stellar offense will almost certainly lead to a couple of hiccups in the course of the season, hence keeping the team below the 10-win mark.
Recommended Michigan Season Total Bet: UNDER 10 Wins