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Michigan Wolverines Betting Tips – Wolverines Have High Hopes For 2012

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/18/2012 4:24:38 PM

Sports betting players are well aware that Michigan is back on the scene in college football and with their Heisman candidate at quarterback and an always-improving defense, the Wolverines could shock a lot of experts and challenge for the national title in 2012.

Head Coach: Brady Hoke (2nd year)
Offensive Coordinator: Al Borges
Defensive Coordinator: Greg Mattison
Stadium: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Capacity: 109,901

National Championships: 11

Offense

Michigan’s offense was run-heavy in 2011, ranking 13th in the country en route to 11 wins and there is no reason to believe it’ll change with quarterback Denard Robinson and tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint in the backfield. The Wolverines tried to pass more with Robinson, but the offense stuttered, so they let him go back and do the things that make him one of the most dynamic players in the nation. The opposition also had to be honest with Toussaint, who also ran for over 1,000 yards. Three starters return up front, so the line should be fine.

But the Wolverines lost three receivers and two tight ends, so the aerial attack may be quite toothless, making the running game more necessary. It’s not a big deal however, as Robinson isn’t that accurate in the passing game. As long as someone steps up to stretch the defense, Michigan’s offense should be in good shape. 

Grade: B

Defense

The big change in Michigan’s college football betting chances has been attributed to Robinson, but it’s probably more because of their defense, which was awful under Rich Rodriguez and his staff, but Brady Hoke lured Greg Mattison from Baltimore in the NFL and it has paid off instantly. The Wolverines were 17th in total defense last season and sixth in points allowed, and there is no reason to think it won’t be as good or better. The back end is where the Wolverines will be stout as they return all seven of their starting linebackers and defensive backs from 2011, which will have to make up for the weak link up front. Only one starter is back on the line, but Michigan has enough at the back to make up for it.

Mattison has been able to recruit players to fit his system and that has made the Wolverines a legitimate national power again. Look for the Wolverines to be a top-10 defense in 2012, even with the problems up front.

Grade: A-

Special Teams

The special-teams unit is an area where the Wolverines could stand to improve, especially on kickoff returns, where they were 117th in 2011. Jeremy Gallon was the main return specialist last year, but the Wolverines may ask him to do more in the offense, so they’ll have to find a new guy.

Kicker Brendan Gibbons and punter Will Hagerup are back, and they’ll be good weapons for the Wolverines to have in the battle for field position.

Grade: B

Prediction

Michigan is the college football betting favorite in the Big Ten at +200, and they’re a +3000 wager to win the national title, but first things first, they need to dominate their conference, which should be made easier with Ohio State’s inability to go to the postseason. The Wolverines aren’t wasting any time in regards to their schedule as they travel to Cowboys Stadium to face the defending national champions from Alabama in their opener, and that shows what the expectations are around Ann Arbor this season.

As long as Robinson is allowed to do what he does and stay on the field, the Wolverines can compete with anyone. The defense is going to get a big test against the Crimson Tide and if they can play with Alabama, that is going to give Michigan a lot of confidence. The Wolverines do need some receivers to step up when they do decide to pass the ball, but Michigan can control the ball with their ground game. They should be able to win the Big Ten rather handily, and while they have long odds for the national title, Michigan could sneak into the title game with a lot of breaks, making them an intriguing online betting option.

2012 Schedule

September 1st – vs. Alabama (in Arlington) (8:00 PM ET)
September 8th – vs. Air Force (3:30 PM ET)
September 15th – vs. Massachussetts (3:30 PM ET)
September 22nd – at Notre Dame (7:30 PM ET)
October 6th – at Purdue (TBD)
October 13th – vs. Illinois (3:30 PM ET)
October 20th – vs. Michigan State (TBD)
October 27th – at Nebraska (TBD)
November 3rd – at Minnesota (TBD)
November 10th – vs. Northwestern (TBD)
November 17th – vs. Iowa (TBD)
November 24th – at Ohio State (12:00 PM ET)

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