The Army Black Knights travel to the Big House in Week 2 to battle the Michigan Wolverines. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 7th at Michigan Stadium and the game will be televised nationally on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, Michigan opened as a 23.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by a full point after early betting, as the Wolverines are currently listed at -22.5. The total for the game is sitting at 47 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Michigan vs Army
Army managed to sneak by Rice in Week 1, narrowly escaping with a 14-7 victory despite being favored by over 21 points heading into the game. The Black Knights were not sharp at all on offense, managing to gain less than 300 total yards and finding the end zone just twice. As is the case most weeks, the offensive play-calling was extremely run heavy and featured just eight pass attempts. QB Kelvin Hopkins Jr. ended up going 3/8 for 53 yards and a touchdown while also adding another 80 yards and a touchdown on the ground. However, his average of 3.8 yards per carry certainly wasn’t anything to get overly excited about. RB Sandon McCoy also had a big workload against the Owls but only managed to rush for 70 yards on 20 carries.
The Black Knights were quite strong defensively against Rice, holding the Owls to a single touchdown and less than 240 total yards of offense. Army was especially tough against the pass, allowing just 62 yards through the air. However, they could definitely be in tough on the road this weekend against a Michigan team that just put up 40+ in their home opener.
Michigan also failed to cover the spread in their first game of the season, although the 40-21 final score makes it apparent the matchup was pretty lopsided in the Wolverines favor. QB Shea Patterson threw three touchdowns but was otherwise unspectacular, barely eclipsing the 200-yard passing mark and completing 17/29 attempts. The ground attack for Michigan was efficient but not overly exciting either, as no rusher managed to break the 100-yard mark. However, Zach Charbonnet did break off some nice runs and averaged over 11.0 yards per carry on the afternoon. The receiving trio of Tarik Black, Nico Collins, and Sean McKeon also chipped in with solid performances, combining for three touchdowns. As a whole, the Michigan offense racked up over 300 yards of total offense, which wasn’t all that impressive considering they were facing an average Middle Tennessee defense.
The Wolverines were also not as sharp on defense as they usually are, allowing the Blue Raiders to find the end zone three times and gain almost 300 total yards. Much more is expected moving forward from a defense that was near the top of pretty much every major statistical category in 2018.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Michigan -22.5
Even though both of these schools managed to win their season openers, neither should be even close to satisfied with how they played against weaker opponents. On the Army side, the offense will need to create more big plays here in Week 2 against a Michigan offense that will likely score 35+ points yet again. If the Wolverines hope to advance to Big 10 Championship and/or the college football playoff at the end of the regular season, their play on the defensive side of the ball will need to improve drastically. They have a great opportunity to rebound immediately on Saturday against an extremely one-dimensional Black Knights offense, which makes me lean towards the home favorite in this matchup.
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The time is now for Harbaugh and Co. after failing to make any noise once the regular season ended over the past couple of years. As long as Michigan doesn’t allow Army to get any sustained momentum on the ground, they should be able to dominate this game on both sides of the ball. The Black Knights did a good job against Rice last week, but a trip to the Big House in early September might cause some big problems for a team that gave up over 12.5 yards per reception in 2018. Even if the Black Knights manage to hold the Wolverines under 30 points, Michigan could still cover this spread if they don’t get exposed on the ground. I just don’t see Army having the offensive firepower to keep pace on the road with such a solid team that should be highly motivated after not exactly coming out firing on all cylinders to start the year. I’ll take the Wolverines to cover at home here in Week 2.