When the Michigan Wolverines lured beloved former star Jim Harbaugh away from the San Francisco 49ers prior to the 2015 college football season, they had visions of routinely competing for national championships among the likes of perennial powerhouses like Clemson and Alabama. Unfortunately, that hasn’t quite materialized despite the fact that Harbaugh has managed to record double-digit winning seasons in three of the four years he’s been at his Alma mater.
Now, as they get set for the upcoming 2019 regular season, the hopes in Ann Arbor are high again and whether you believe in the Big Ten championship hopefuls or not, there are a bunch of things you need to know about Michigan before they take to the gridiron this coming season. Let’s find out everything there is to know in my expert college football betting guide centered on the Wolverines.
Michigan Wolverines 2019 College Football Season Betting Guide
- ATS: 10-3 (W-L) / 6-7-0 (ATS) / 5-3-0 (Home) / 1-4-0 (Away) / 1-2-0 (Grass) / 5-5-0 (Turf)
- O/U: 8-5-0 (W-L) / 6-2-0 (Home) / 2-3-0 (Away) / 1-2-0 (Grass) / 7-3-0 (Turf) / 54.5 (Total)
While Michigan posted a nice, 10-3 record a year ago, the Wolverines couldn’t be counted on to cover the chalk consistently as they went an uninspiring 6-7 ATS, including a dismal 1-4 ATS on the road. Michigan played Over their O/U total odds eight times, while going 6-2 O/U at home.
2018 Team Leaders
- Touchdowns: Karan Higdon (10)
- Rushing: Karan Higdon (1178)
- Passing: Shea Patterson (2600)
- Receiving: Nico Collins (632)
- Interceptions: Josh Metellus (3)
Senior running back Karan Higdon led the team in touchdowns scored and rushing yards a year ago while now, senior quarterback Shea Patterson passed for a modest 2,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Now, junior wide receiver Nico Collins put up a team-high 632 rushing yards while now, senior safety Josh Metellus recorded a team-high three interceptions. All of Michigan’s 2018 team leaders will be back in 2019 except Higdon.
- Total Yards: 419.5 / Rank 50
- Passing Yards: 215.7 / Rank 80
- Rushing Yards: 203.8 /Rank 30
- Points Scored: 35.2 / Rank 21
- Field Goal %: 77.8 / Rank 39
Michigan’s normally underachieving offense during the Harbaugh era was a bit better than they usually are, having finished the 2018 season ranked 50th overall, 80th in passing, 30th in rushing and 21st in scoring (35.2 ppg).
- Total Yards: 275.2 / Rank 2
- Passing Yards: 147.8 / Rank 2
- Rushing Yards: 127.5 /Rank 23
- Points Allowed: 19.4 / Rank 16
- Field Goal %: 100 / Rank 130
As has been the case since Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines were ‘beastly’ on defense in ranking second overall, an identical second against the pass, 23rd against the run and 16th in points allowed (19.4 ppg).
Michigan has gone an identical 10-3 in three of the four years Harbaugh has led the program and I think they’re looking at another 10-win season in the making college football betting buffs. I know the Wolverines hired a new offensive coordinator in former Alabama offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Josh Gattis who is reportedly set to install a new, spread offense in 2019, but I’m not real high on Shea Patterson and I’m not sure Harbaugh is really going to cede control of his ‘old-timey’ offensive schemes, particularly if Michigan stumbles early on.
I know Shea Patterson will be in his second season under Harbaugh and that he’s reportedly quite familiar with a spread offense, but there are question marks and a lack of experience at running back. The good news is that Patterson will be operating behind a veteran offensive line that returns four starters from last season and he’ll have some experienced receivers to throw to, but there’s a big question mark on the defensive side of the ball with the Wolverines losing some serious star power in defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich and linebacker Devin Bush Jr., not to mention the fact that defensive line coach Greg Mattison bolted to take the job arch-rival Ohio State.
Michigan lost to Notre Dame in their 2018 regular season opener before getting completely blown away by longtime conference rival Ohio State in their regular season finale and then getting smacked around again in their 41-15 Peach Bowl loss to Florida.
Michigan has a pair of tricky road matchups against Wisconsin and Penn State and a trio of other tough home dates against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State in their regular season finale. While the Wolverines have just five road games and seven home dates in 2019, I still don’t see Jim Harbaugh getting his beloved Alma mater to reach the 11-win mark for the first time since he took over.