Western Michigan Broncos (0-0) vs. Michigan Wolverines (0-0)
September 4, 2021 12:00 pm EDT
The Line: Michigan Wolverines -17.5 ; Over/Under: 68
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The Michigan Wolverines meet the Western Michigan Broncos Saturday in Week 1 college football action from Michigan Stadium. This will be the first activity of the 2021 season for both teams. Western Michigan is coming off a 4-2 record last year with a second-place division finish. As for the Wolverines, they went just 2-4 last season, one spot out of the basement in their division. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Western Michigan managed to get in six games last year, going 4-2 overall and finishing in second place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. The Broncos stormed out of the gate at 4-0, but lost their last two games to Eastern Michigan and Ball State.
This year, Western Michigan will enter the fifth season with Tim Lester at the head coaching helm. He’ll be overseeing a program that finished 16th in the nation overall on offense, averaging an electric 480 yards and 42 points per game.
Over on the Michigan side, not much went right last season. The Wolverines would ultimately finish 2-4, one spot above Michigan State in the basement of the Big Ten’s East Division. Michigan lost four of their final five games, culminating in a 27-17 loss to Penn State on November 28.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh is back on the Michigan sidelines for his seventh year. He’ll have Josh Gattis (third year) back at OC, and will add a new defensive coordinator in Mike Macdonald. That group will have their work cut out trying to get more consistent production on both sides of the ball.
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The Broncos are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 as an underdog. WMU is 1-6 ATS in their last seven as a road underdog and the under is 6-1 in the last seven versus the Big Ten.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last five as a home favorite and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 versus the MAC. Michigan is 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last four at home.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on Western Michigan here. The Broncos are getting some buzz heading into the season due to their excellent offensive performance last year. WMU is missing top receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, but they’ve got plenty of talent left with guys like Jaylen hall and Skyy Moore. There are four starters back on the line as well.
As far as Michigan goes, they averaged 382 yards and 28 points per game last yer—not terrible but certainly not consistent either. The good news is that most of the offensive line returns this year. The Wolverines certainly have some tinkering to do in order to get back to form, and I think Western Michigan can hang around. Should be a fun game to kick off the season.