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Michigan’s Title Odds Improve to +1500 as Harbaugh Looks to Finally Beat the Buckeyes

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Football

Jul 5, 2019 · 8:30 AM PDT

Jim Harbaugh
Is 2019 finally the year that Jim Harbaugh gets his first win over Ohio State as Michigan's Head Coach? Photo by Maize & Blue Nation (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Michigan’s average National Championship odds are the shortest they’ve been since February 6th, while Ohio State’s are the longest they’ve been since April 17th
  • The Wolverines have never beaten the Buckeyes in the Jim Harbaugh era, and QB Shea Patterson isn’t as dynamic as Ohio State QB Justin Fields
  • Who is the better bet to win the title?

Sportsbooks are showing a lot of love to Michigan football lately. The Wolverines’ average odds to win the 2020 CFP National Championship are the shortest they’ve been in four months, while their arch rivals from Ohio State saw their price lengthened for the first time since mid-April.

2020 CFP National Championship Odds

Team Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide +225
Clemson Tigers +225
Georgia Bulldogs +650
Ohio State Buckeyes +900
Oklahoma Sooners +1400
Michigan Wolverines +1500
Texas Longhorns +2000
LSU Tigers +2500
Oregon Ducks +2700
Florida Gators +3300

*Odds taken on 07/04/19. 

Michigan’s CFP National Championship odds are the sixth shortest on the board despite any kind of real success this decade and an abysmal record versus top ranked opponents under Jim Harbaugh.

The Wolverines Lack Bite in Big Games

If Michigan has any hope of competing for a title this season they’ll need to rack up victories against top notch competition, something they’ve failed to do over and over again during the Harbaugh era.

Fortunately for the Wolverines, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to compile impressive wins as they’ll square off with four preseason top-25 ranked teams, including the Buckeyes, who they haven’t beaten since 2011.

This year’s Michigan team boasts one of its strongest rosters of the decade, but the talent level is still a notch below Ohio State, most notably at the quarterback position.

Fields is the Best QB in the Big Ten

Justin Fields has yet to take a regular season snap as a Buckeye, but he’s already ranked higher than Michigan QB Shea Patterson in the eyes of bookmakers. Fields is among the top-5 in Heisman Trophy odds, while Patterson doesn’t even crack the top-10.

Fields is a threat to score through the air and on the ground, and his upside is enormous in a Ryan Day scheme that features a deeper cast of playmakers than Michigan.

Patterson, meanwhile, is talented but much like the rest of his team performs worse when the stakes are raised. Last season versus top-25 teams, he averaged over a yard and half less per attempt than versus unranked opponents, and he failed to eclipse 190 passing yards in three of six games versus ranked teams. He threw just eight touchdowns in those six games and the Wolverines offense averaged 12 fewer points per game versus ranked teams than versus unranked teams.

Bank on the Buckeyes’ Pedigree

Michigan hasn’t won a Big Ten championship since 2004, while Ohio State has captured the title in back-to-back seasons. The Buckeyes have a deeper roster, a more talented quarterback and the drop off from Urban Meyer to Day has been significantly overblown.

Day’s spent most of the decade learning from great football minds like Meyer and Chip Kelly, and he’ll have this Ohio State squad playing like a well oiled machine by the time the season kicks off. If you’re betting on a Big Ten team, make sure it’s the Buckeyes.

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