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Michigan Slight Favorite In Its First Big Test Of 2023 Football Season

The Wolverines are a single-digit favorite for the first time all year




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For the first time all season, Michigan football will enter a game as a single-digit betting favorite. 

The undefeated Wolverines, who are ranked third in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, had been no less than a 17.5-point favorite in any game this season. Saturday, however, they’re favored by just 4.5 points on the road against No. 10 Penn State. 

FanDuel is one of the many sports betting apps to list Michigan as a 4.5-point favorite against the one-loss Nittany Lions. BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, and DraftKings also list Michigan as a 4.5-point favorite. Michigan is 4-4-1 against the spread this season, while Penn State is an impressive 7-2. The Nittany Lions are 0-1 as an underdog, though. 

Possible statement game

While the potential of a penalty for in-person scouting continues to surround Michigan’s program, the on-field performance of the team has been elite through early November. Michigan looks the part of a national title contender, and beating Penn State would add credibility to the Wolverines’ season. 

Penn State’s only blemish was a 20-12 loss at Ohio State, as the Buckeyes stifled Penn State’s offense. The total for Saturday’s game between the Wolverines and Nittany Lions is hovering around 45 points across most mobile sports betting apps. 

Michigan’s moneyline is -200 on PointsBet and -215 on Caesars Sportsbook. 

A victory would help secure Michigan’s place in the College Football Playoff rankings, with the Wolverines set to host No. 1 Ohio State on Nov. 25. An undefeated Michigan team could make a push for the No. 1 overall seed in the College Football Playoff. 

Spartans face Buckeyes

Fresh off a win over Nebraska, Michigan State’s minuscule hope of reaching six wins stays alive. The Spartans (3-6) need to win out to get to 6-6 and make a bowl game, but they’re a 31.5-point underdog to top-ranked Ohio State this weekend. 

The Buckeyes are 5-3-1 against the spread this season, having covered in four out of their last five games. The one recent game they failed to cover was when they beat Wisconsin by 14 points as a 14.5-point favorite. 

This week’s spread illustrates how far the Spartans have fallen since an 11-win season in 2021. Michigan State is one of just two Big Ten opponents on Ohio State’s schedule to be more than a 20-point underdog against the Buckeyes, and they’re a 31.5-point underdog. If the line closes at 31.5, only Youngstown State will have been a larger underdog against the Buckeyes so far this season.

Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images