Notre Dame is a slight 1.5 point favorite over Michigan in the latest spread heading into their opening weekend matchup, per OddsShark. The point total is set at 47.5.
Each team enters 2018 on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Irish are looking to continue the momentum built from last season with a solid 10-3 finish, while the Wolverines went a disappointing 8-5. Michigan is optimistic they can turn things around thanks to former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson, who was the No. 1 ranked high school quarterback in 2016. After spending most of the off-season creating suspense, Jim Harbaugh finally named Patterson the starting quarterback.
“The quarterback position, you really have to be confident in yourself,” Harbaugh explained on his podcast (via M Live). “The next thing you do, with the way you play — you have to make sure your teammates are confident in you. That’s your job. And he has done that and done that at a very good level. A very high level.”
Notre Dame returns Brian Wimbush at quarterback. Wimbush threw for 1,887 yards, 16 touchdowns while only completing 49.5 percent of his passes.
Michigan Can Win the Big Ten
Since the Harbaugh era began, the Wolverines have relied on their defense, and the offense has consistently been the weak link. There is reason to think this could change this season. Michigan coaches have emphasized their desire to open up the offense under Patterson, who is by far the best quarterback Harbaugh has had at Michigan.
The Michigan offense did take a hit with Tarik Black sustaining another injury before the season. Black was poised to be the top Wolverines wide receiver after missing most of last season with an injury, but a fractured foot could keep him out for most of this season yet again.
The Michigan defense will continue to be the cornerstone of the team, but the offense should take a step forward this season.
Michigan vs. Notre Dame Pick Against the Spread
For the first time, college football fans will be able to see Michigan’s offense under Harbaugh with a legitimate quarterback under center. While Black’s injury will hurt the team, Michigan has other weapons to pair with Patterson to allow the offense to be improved this season. I don’t like this matchup for Notre Dame’s offense, who is likely to struggle against Michigan’s stout defensive line. Look for Patterson to lead Michigan to victory against Notre Dame.
Heavy’s Pick: Michigan 27 Notre Dame 17. Michigan Covers +1.5 Spread. Under on the Point Total.