CFB Betting – Washington Huskies at Michigan Wolverines Week 2

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

This Week 2 Power 5 matchup between the Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines lost some of its luster when the Huskies were upset at home last week by FCS Montana. It’s hard to imagine their season being on the brink after one game, but 20th-ranked UDub looked nothing like a team deserving of a national ranking. We’ll get a good idea of just how good a coach Jimmy Lake is as he needs to rally his troops on Saturday. Are the Huskies overrated or did they look past the Griz with their eyes set on a trip to the Big House?

Washington Huskies at Michigan Wolverines
Date and Time: Saturday, September 11, 2021, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
CFB Odds: Michigan -6, O/U 51.5
Washington at Michigan TV Coverage: ABC

Odds Analysis

Had Washington taken care of business against Montana some experts predicted they’d be a road favorite for this matchup. That’s how much respect the Huskies were getting. That all went in the toilet last Saturday with their stunning 13-7 setback to FCS Montana as a 22.5-point favorite. Just how big was the loss? It was only the fifth time since 1978 an AP top-25 team was upset by a FCS foe. So instead U-Dub is catching 6-points on the opening line and that could go even higher. There is one issue, though. The Wolverines aren’t good enough to overlook Washington. Unlike the Huskies, UM did its job in the opener blasting Western Michigan 47-14 covering the 16.5-point spread. It was the Wolverines first ATS win since last season’s opener. They were just 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in the final five games last year.

Washington Huskies

This wasn’t how Year 2 of the Jimmy Lake era was supposed to start. In their four-game cameo last year the Huskies were solid but not spectacular. They moved the football on offense averaging nearly 403 yards and 30.3 points. They won three of those games by not screwing up. They controlled the tempo, were great converting third downs and turned the ball over just three times. Everything the Huskies were good at last year failed them against Montana.

Behind a strong offensive line the ground game should be a strength. The Huskies averaged 176.3 yards in four games last season, but the group failed to push the smaller Griz around amassing only 65 yards on 27 attempts. And QB Dylan Morris was sacked three times after taking only one sack in four games last season. Simply put the offense was horrible. After scoring a touchdown on their first drive, the Huskies punted five times, turned the ball over on downs twice, missed a field goal and Morris was picked off three times.

“We have extraordinary leadership on our team. This does not sit well with them. This does not sit well with our team. All we can do now is move forward here and make amends. And that’s what we’re trying to do,” Lake said. The offense was impacted by the absence of its top three receivers and they lost another pass catcher when Ja’Lynn Polk exited Saturday’s game. That was a big reason for the interception total and the lack of downfield pass plays.

Michigan Wolverines

For the first time in Jim Harbaugh’s tenure the Wolverines aren’t expected to challenge for anything. Maybe that’s just what they need. There were enough positives from last season to think they can be a threat in the Big Ten West, but they need more consistent play from the quarterback spot.

Cade McNamara emerged as the starter during the offseason and was efficient leading the team last week. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He didn’t have to do much with a ground game that shredded WMU. Led by 111 yard and a touchdown from Blake Corum, the Wolverines amassed 335 yards on the ground averaging nearly eight yards a pop. The unit suffered a huge loss, though, when receiver Ronnie Bell was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Michigan’s defense is getting a different perspective under new coordinator Mike Mcdonald, and the early returns are positive. The group struggled last year prompting a switch from Don Brown and cornerback Vincent Gray expressed his pleasure for the system change. UM allowed fewer than 200 yards through the air last week and 317 total with a good chunk coming on WMU’s final touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.

Bet Washington at Michigan at

The biggest question is can the Huskies respond with a better performance than they had last week. The loss to Montana was a shock and was supposed to be the appetizer ahead of this week’s game. Now U-Dub’s season can be lost in the second week. I do expect the Huskies to play better, but UM is also out to show people the program is still alive and well. Getting yards and point against the Griz was a chore and it’s going to be even harder this week.

CFB Score Prediction: Michigan 27, Washington 20

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- Phil Simon,

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