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Michigan Favored By More Than 30 Points Amid Sign-Stealing Scandal

Big Ten coaches reportedly want to see the Wolverines punished




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The Michigan Wolverines have been one of the most dominant teams in the country through the first two months of the college football season. Instead of the Wolverines’ on-field success, however, recent headlines surrounding the team have focused on a sign-stealing scandal involving an assistant coach who (allegedly) wears his sunglasses at night

Stealing another team’s signs isn’t against NCAA rules, but in-person scouting of opponents is an NCAA violation. Michigan assistant Connor Stalions is accused of in-person scouting that included sign stealing, and the NCAA is investigating those claims

There’s also an investigation into whether Stalions appeared on Central Michigan’s sideline in the Chippewas’ season opener against Michigan State. Photos of someone who looks like Stalions recently surfaced from that game. Michigan defeated the Spartans 49-0 in its most recent win, and Big Ten coaches are reportedly pushing for the Big Ten to punish the Wolverines in the near future. 

Not only is Michigan one of the best teams in the Big Ten, but the Wolverines are also viewed as a national title favorite by most sportsbooks. They have +250 odds to win the national title on FanDuel, making them the co-favorite with Georgia to win it all. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy is one of the top Heisman contenders as well, with Michigan’s starting quarterback listed at +400 to win the award on FanDuel. Only Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (+270) has shorter odds.

Wolverines a huge favorite

With the sign-stealing scandal ongoing, Michigan’s season marches forward. The Wolverines host Purdue this weekend, and most sports betting apps in Michigan list the home team as a 32.5-point favorite. 

Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet all list Michigan as a 32.5-point betting favorite, while BetRivers lists Michigan as a 33.5-point favorite over the Boilermakers. Meanwhile, Michigan is a -25000 moneyline favorite on Caesars Sportsbook. The total for the game is hovering around 51 points across most sports betting platforms in the state. 

Even with a massive distraction circulating around the program, oddsmakers don’t anticipate the Wolverines having many issues this weekend. That could change next weekend, when Michigan visits No. 11 Penn State. 

Michigan State hosts Nebraska

No stranger to internal controversy themselves, the Spartans (2-6, 0-5 Big Ten) need a home victory over Nebraska to cling to any slim remaining hope of making a bowl game. To make a bowl game, Michigan State needs to win out. That feels like a near impossibility with Ohio State and Penn State still left on the schedule. 

Still, most mobile sportsbooks in Michigan only have the Spartans as a 3-point home underdog against Nebraska. Winning out might feel outlandish, but breaking a six-game losing skid this weekend is realistic. 

Nebraska is 5-3 on the season, having won three consecutive contests. The Huskers are just 1-2 on the road this season, though. This is Michigan State’s last true home game of the season, and it’s one of the Spartans’ last realistic chances for another win before a massively disappointing 2023 season ends.

Photo: Adam Ruff/Getty Images