The No. 8 ranked Michigan Wolverines (1-0) will host the Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0) in their 2017 home opener. Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST Saturday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The game will be televised nationally on ABC.
Taking a look that the Week 2 lines, oddsmakers currently have Michigan as a huge 34.5-point home favorite and the line has been rising. The total for this contest is either 48.5 or 49 depending on where you shop at.
Cincinnati vs Michigan Vegas Betting Odds & Game Preview
The Bearcats came away with a 26-14 win at home over Austin Peay in head coach Luke Fickell’s debut. It was a lot closer than anyone expected. Cincinnati was a 43-point favorite and yet only led 20-14 late in the 4th quarter.
Hayden Moore completed 17 of 28 passes with 3 touchdowns, but only finished with a 151 yards. The most concerning thing was the running game, which managed just 97 yards on 29 attempts (3.3 yards/carry) against a FCS opponent. The defense did their part. Austin Peay rushed for 224 yards, but that was on 60 attempts, which is only 3.7 yards/carry.
All those that doubted Michigan not being a serious threat this year with only 5 starters back, likely had their opinion swayed in Week 1. The Wolverines knocked off No. 17 Florida 33-17.
It wasn’t even as close as the final score would indicate, as Michigan had a 433 to 192 (+241) edge in total yards and 19 to 9 advantage in first downs. The only thing that kept the Gators in the game was two interceptions by Wilton Speight that were returned for touchdowns. Michigan’s defense was special, limiting Florida to just 11 rushing yards on 27 attempts (0.4 yards/carry).
Free NCAAF Betting Prediction & Pick Against the Spread: Cincinnati +34.5
This is one I’m likely going to just stay away from, but I would lean towards the points with the Bearcats if it came down to it. My big concern is with Cincinnati’s ability to score and the Wolverines have shown they are more than willing to run up the score.
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What has mean leaning towards the Bearcats is the fact that this is a huge letdown spot for the Wolverines. That game against Florida was one this team couldn’t wait to play after no one was picking them to win the Big Ten East.
That was a statement game and it will be hard for them to bring that same energy against a team they are favored by almost 5 touchdowns against.
Cincinnati’s offense won’t find it easy, but at least they have a passing attack. That gives them a shot not only to sneak in a score early, but keeps open the door for that back door cover in the 2nd half.
Another factor here that could benefit the Bearcats is their new head coach knows a thing or two about Michigan given he was on the Ohio State staff since 2002 prior to coming to Cincinnati. He’s going to have the defense as prepared as they can be for Michigan’s offense, which is far from a juggernaut.
If they can just hold them to 40 or less, we would cash our ticket with a mere 7-points from the Bearcats. As difficult as it may be to go against the Wolverines in their home opener, I think it’s the smart play in this one.