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Michigan football opens as favorite against MSU, PSU, and OSU

For the first time in a long time, Michigan is favored against Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State heading into a season.



Michigan football
Oct 29, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) drops back to pass in the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This week was a special one on the college football calendar — it marked the beginning of spring ball, putting us one step closer to the start of the 2023 college football season. This week also saw some preseason opening lines come out via FanDuel, among them are three Michigan football games: Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State. As of right now, the Wolverines are favored in all three matchups.

Michigan football favored vs. all major Big Ten East programs

For the first time in decades, the Michigan Wolverines are favored to beat every major team in their division this year — Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State — despite two of these matchups being played on the road. Michigan football has finally earned its respect; it only took two-straight Big Ten titles, a 19-1 Big Ten record, and two-straight College Football Playoff appearances to make it happen.

Wolverines favored against Michigan State

In 2022, the Michigan State Spartans (5-7) traveled to Ann Arbor, MI, to take on the Michigan Wolverines (13-1) in on the night before Halloween. All said and done, Jim Harbaugh claimed his first victory over Mel Tucker with a 29-7 victory — Michigan’s 4th win over MSU under Harbaugh. This year, Vegas expects more of the same as the Wolverines opened as 15-point favorites against their in-state rivals.

Michigan football favored to beat Penn State

Since Jim Harbaugh took over in 2015, the Michigan football team is 5-3 against Penn State — 5-2 if you exclude the COVID-19 year as many do. Since the pandemic ended and full-length seasons returned, the Wolverines are 2-0 against James Franklin and the Nittany Lions — Michigan narrowly beat Penn State in Happy Valley (21-17) in 2021 and ran PSU out of the building (41-17) a season ago. This year, Michigan opens as a 1.5-point favorite to win their second-straight at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA.

Michigan favored to beat Ohio State

This one might come as a shock, but Vegas actually likes the Wolverines to beat Ohio State for the third year in a row. Over the past two seasons, Michigan football has turned the tide in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, winning both the 2021 and 2022 matchups via blowout fashion. In 2021, a 2nd-ranked Ohio State team came into Ann Arbor and lost, 42-27; and a season ago, the Michigan Wolverines dominated again with a 45-23 victory in Columbus, OH. Right now, FanDuel likes Michigan by one single point in Ann Arbor against the Buckeyes.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball. Right now, CJ is the publisher of Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. Previously, CJ has made stops with Fansided, The Michigan Daily, and more.