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Handicapping Michigan (8.5)
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The Michigan Wolverines are coming off a very disappointing 2017 season, but they bring back 18 starters for 2018 and expectations are very high for Jim Harbaugh’s squad.

The pressure is mounting on Harbaugh to deliver, as Michigan is 1-5 under Harbaugh against their top rivals and Michigan has yet to play in the Big Ten title game under Harbaugh.

How successful the Wolverines are in 2018 could be determined by how well new quarterback Shea Patterson plays. He is an Ole Miss transfer who takes over the starting job.

Let’s look at Michigan’s schedule for 2018 to see if they will go over or under their win total of 8.5.

2018 Michigan Wolverines Regular Season Win Total - per
Over 8.5 (-110)
Under 8.5 (-120)

2018 Michigan Wolverines Schedule Analysis
Sept. 1 at Notre Dame
You can make a strong case that the loser of this game will have no real chance to make the College Football Playoffs. Harbaugh will need to have Patterson ready because Michigan can’t win this game simply with defense.

Sept. 8 vs. Western Michigan
These teams haven’t met since 2011 and it has been a one-sided series, as the Broncos have never beaten the Wolverines. That shouldn’t change this season.

Sept. 15 vs. SMU
The Mustangs are going to score with new head coach Sonny Dykes in charge but they won’t stop anyone. Michigan’s defense is very good and SMU may score some points, but this will still be a Michigan blowout.

Sept. 22 vs. Nebraska
The Cornhuskers have a new head coach in Scott Frost and it may take him some time to turn things around at Nebraska. It is hard to see the Cornhuskers winning this one in the Big House.

Sept. 29 at Northwestern
The Wildcats may not have starting quarterback Clayton Thorson as he tore his ACL in last year’s bowl game and may not be ready to return yet. Michigan has won the last five in this series and they should make it six straight this year.

Oct. 6 vs. Maryland
This should be a name the score game for Michigan, as they have won the last three matchups against the Terps by a combined margin of 109 points.

Oct. 13 vs. Wisconsin
The first huge Big 10 game of the season for Michigan is at home as they host the Badgers. These teams are usually tight, but the Wolverines will have the home field advantage and should get the win.

Oct. 20 at Michigan State
The Wolverines gave away last year’s game so they will be playing with revenge, but it won’t be easy on the road against a talented Spartans squad that returns 21 starters.

Nov. 3 vs. Penn State
This looks to be a good one, as two years ago it was Michigan winning big at home, but last year it was the Nittany Lions winning big at home. These teams are very evenly matched and this game could come down to the final possession.

Nov. 10 at Rutgers
This is a letdown spot for Michigan, but it shouldn’t matter. The last time Michigan visited Rutgers they won 78-0.

Nov. 17 vs. Indiana
The Wolverines have won the last 22 games against Indiana going back to 1987. The last three meetings in the series have been close, but this one is in Ann Arbor, so the Wolverines should win easily.

Nov. 24 at Ohio State
This game could decide the Big Ten East Division. The Wolverines will likely be listed as road dogs against their hated rivals.

2018 Michigan Wolverines Regular Season Win Total Prediction

The Michigan win total comes down to five games because the Wolverines should have seven sure wins. The key games are at Notre Dame, home vs. Wisconsin, at Michigan State, home vs. Penn State and at Ohio State. To go over the total of 8.5, the Wolverines have to win two of those five games. Winning two of those five games is definitely possible for Michigan and it is not out of the question that Michigan could win four of the five. It all comes down to the play of Patterson at quarterback. If he delivers in a big way then Michigan could be a national title contender and definitely a team that goes over 8.5 wins this season.

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