Michigan Wolverines 2019 college football betting preview

Dan Halverson

August 19th, 2019

2018 record: 10-3 2018 Big Ten record: 8-1 Key additions: DB Daxton Hill, DT Mazi Smith, DE Mike Danna Key losses: ILB Devin Bush, OLB Rashan Gary, DE Chase Winovich


In 2018 the Michigan Wolverines found themselves in the role of middle child. For Michigan fans, this has become an all-too-familiar position. After a season-opening loss to Notre Dame, the Wolverines ran the table, until it came time to play eternal rival Ohio State. A defense that had been stout throughout the year found itself incapable of stopping Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeyes. Michigan ultimately finished the regular season 10-2 (6-6 against the spread) to finish second in the Big Ten East.
Heading into 2019 the Wolverines have the opportunity to redeem themselves and avenge last season's embarrassing conclusion (along with the Ohio State loss, Michigan also was routed in the Peach Bowl by Florida). Gone are some key starters, but the cupboard is not bare. Michigan will have to replace running back Karan Higdon, as well as key defensive line starters Chase Winovich, Devin Bush and Rashan Gary.

Thanks in large part to coach Jim Harbaugh's efforts on the recruiting trail, high-quality players are ready to step in and make an immediate impact on this year's team. Five-star defensive back Daxton Hill chose Michigan over Alabama and will be expected to immediately contribute. Defensive lineman Mazi Smith is another incoming freshman who will be expected to step in and contribute to a defense that has high expectations. Michigan will also get a boost from Central Michigan transfer and edge rusher Mike Danna, who Michigan coaches hope can come in and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Most important to Michigan's successes or failures this year, however, will be the play of quarterback Shea Patterson. As a former five-star recruit out of high school, expectations will be high for this now three-year college starter. After he transferred from an Ole Miss program facing NCAA penalties, Patterson stepped into Harbaugh's program and has been given the green light from day one. With top rusher Karan Higdon gone and Patterson now in his second year in Harbaugh's system, he will be relied upon more than ever to lead the team.

College Football Playoff odds: +1400

A team from the Big Ten is almost guaranteed a spot in the playoff, and this year's conference race appears to be between Ohio State and Michigan. Patterson is undoubtedly a great talent, and I expect improvement on last year's passing numbers (2,600 yards, 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions).

The biggest question mark will be whether the defense can survive the losses from last year's unit. This team won't be able to succeed with so many key losses, and this number isn't high enough to get a bet from me.

2019 Win Total: 10.5

The Wolverines are fortunate to get Ohio State in the Big House, but they have tough road games at Wisconsin, Penn State and Notre Dame. I expect them to go 2-2 in those games, so will lean to the under.

The college football season is creeping closer, and BetAmerica has all your preseason wagering needs in one spot!