Don’t be afraid of Michigan as a big favorite

Quarterback JJ McCarthy has Michigan trying like a energy. (AP Photo/Paul Sancy)

The faculty soccer season hits an necessary schedule milestone this weekend. Week 4 marks the time to say goodbye to most non-conference video games as extra groups will conflict with convention rivals. It’s a bittersweet time when the thrill of seeing extra aggressive matchups blends in with the belief that the season is already flying by. But, as bettors, we should slowly begin letting go of our priors and settle for that groups are what they’ve proven us for the season’s first quarter. This is the week we achieve priceless perception on whether or not the group’s early success is sustainable or if it was simply a product of mushy scheduling. I’ve two greatest bets for Saturday’s video games, and they’re each Top 15 groups seeking to flex their muscle mass as they open convention play.

Maryland at Michigan (-16.5)

Fresh off a storybook season that noticed coach Jim Harbaugh ship a Big Ten title together with a College Football Playoff berth, Michigan appears poised to make one other run. The Wolverines’ first three video games had a preseason really feel with the intention of utilizing the softer competitors to solidify QB JJ McCarthy as the starter. The sophomore gunslinger has accomplished 88% of his passes in his two begins, whereas Michigan scored 56 and 59 factors.

I do not suppose anybody anticipated this to be a conflict of 3-0 groups, however the Terrapins all the time had the offensive potential to outscore mid-level groups. Now, they enter the Big House as 16.5-point underdogs towards a fourth-ranked Michigan group that has dominated them within the final six conferences by the next margins: 41, 31, 21, 25, 56, and 28. So in case you are on the lookout for blowout potential from a favorite, that is the sport you wish to circle.

Maryland’s protection might have come via within the clutch towards SMU, however the Terrapins’ secondary continues to be ranked 107th (273.3 passing yards per recreation) out of all FBS groups. If SMU can rack up 520 yards of offense together with 30 first downs, Michigan might proceed its three-game streak of scoring a minimum of 50 factors on Saturday.

Despite Maryland’s enchancment, I see this recreation following a sample just like earlier years. McCarthy will assist Michigan bounce to a big lead in entrance of a house crowd, and Maryland will recklessly flip the ball over in a determined comeback try. Turnovers and penalties are two key elements when video games spiral away from big underdogs, and each will be in play right here. Michigan has been the least penalized group within the nation this season, whereas Maryland’s 10.3 penalties per recreation are the second most in all the FBS. The Terps do not have the expertise to present away yards to a group as full as the Wolverines. I see this as a quick quantity based mostly on Maryland’s scorching begin. Harbaugh’s historical past of working it up at house makes me snug with taking the Wolverines to cowl. Since the start of final season, Michigan is 7-2 ATS as a favorite in Ann Arbor with a median margin of victory of 34.6 factors. We can nonetheless money this wager with solely half of that margin. Lay the factors with Michigan.

Oregon (-6.5) at Washington State

Who wants Red Bull when you may simply wager Bo Nix on the highway? I perceive why there’s a concern Oregon is heading for a letdown, but it surely lined as a 13.5-point favorite towards Washington State final season. This recreation is one other instance of an inferior convention opponent getting an excessive amount of credit score for beginning 3-0. Yes, Washington State pulled an upset over a ranked group in Wisconsin. But, if we dig into the field rating, the Cougars have been severely outplayed. Washington State misplaced first downs 22-10, have been outgained by the Badgers 401-253, and solely transformed 18% of third downs.

The stage of athleticism on Oregon’s protection proved to be troublesome for BYU to deal with final week. Washington State’s offensive line has allowed 9 sacks this season (a hundred and fifth), and can be no match for the defensive entrance of the Ducks. How many factors can we count on from a Cougars offense led by QB Cam Ward, an FCS switch from Incarnate Word, in a large step up in competitors? Nix traditionally would not do his greatest work away from house, but when the Ducks can rating 28 factors, Oregon ought to cowl this quantity.

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