College Football Betting Preview: Oregon State Beavers at Michigan Wolverines

Oregon State Beavers at Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, September 12, 2015, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Opening Line: Michigan -14
Current Line: Michigan -16 1/2
Opening Total: 49 1/2
Current Total: 45
Opening Money Line: Michigan -550 / Oregon State +425
Current Money Line: Michigan -800 / Oregon State +550

Michigan has their home opener Saturday against Oregon State. The Wolverines are 16.5 point favorites.
Michigan has their home opener Saturday against Oregon State. The Wolverines are 16.5 point favorites.

Both Pac 12 schools from Oregon travel to the Big Ten schools from Michigan Saturday. The Oregon State Beavers travel to the Michigan Wolverines, and later Oregon travels to Michigan State.

Michigan leads the series 4-0 against Oregon State, but they haven’t played since 1986. Three of the four meetings have been in Ann Arbor, with the exception being the 1964 Rose Bowl. Michigan is not scheduled to travel to Corvallis in the near future, and this is a one off meeting.

Both Michigan and Oregon State are coached by first year coaches. Oregon State is coached by Gary Andersen, who returns to Big Ten Country after two years as head coach at Wisconsin. Michigan is coached by Jim Harbaugh, who left the San Francisco 49ers for the head coaching position at his alma mater.

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Oregon State beat Weber State last Friday 26-7. The Beavers were a 27.5 point favorite at home and the total was 53.5. Neither team could get much going on offense. Oregon State took a 6-0 lead into halftime on a pair of field goals. The Beavers made it 13-0 midway through the third quarter on a four yard touchdown pass to Victor Bolden from freshman quarterback Seth Collins. Weber State got back into the game five minutes later with an 8 yard pick six to make it 13-7. The Beavers would add 13 fourth quarter points including two field goals and a 44 yard touchdown pass from Collins to Jordan Villamin. All in all, it wasn’t very pretty but it was a win. Fellow Pac 12 member Washington State lost straight up as a 31 point favorite to Portland State.

Oregon State had 391 total yards including 281 rushing yards. Weber State had 178 total yards. The Beavers had 22 first downs to 9 for the Wildcats. Each team had one turnover. Weber State had 7 penalties for 75 yards and Oregon State had 7 penalties for 67 yards. Oregon State dominated time of possession 35-25.

Collins and Marcus McMaryion split the snaps at quarterback, but Collins likely earned the starting job permanently with his performance. Collins completed 10 of 18 passes for 92 yards with 2 touchdown passes, and also rushed for 152 yards on 17 carries. McMaryion was 2/4 with 18 yards and an interception, and rushed for 4 yards. Running back Storm Woods had 15 carries for 63 yards, and also had 2 catches for 25 yards. Chris Brown had 14 carries for 54 yards, and also had a catch. Villamin had 4 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.

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The Harbaugh era at Michigan did not get off to a good start with a tough 24-17 road loss at Utah last Thursday. Michigan was a 5 point underdog and the total was 45 in Salt Lake City. Utah opened the scoring with a field goal late in the first quarter. Michigan tied it up early in the second on a field goal of their own. The Utes took a 10-3 lead on a one yard touchdown run from running back Devontae Booker. That would be the score at halftime.

Utah made it 17-3 on a 14 yard touchdown run from quarterback Travis Wilson. The Wolverines pulled to within 17-10 late in the third on a touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Rudock to tight end Jake Butt. However, midway through the fourth Rudock threw a costly 55 yard pick six to make it 24-10 Utah. Rudock threw another touchdown pass, this time from 10 yards to Amara Darboh. That made it 24-17 with 54 seconds left. Michigan tried the onside kick but Utah recovered and ran out the clock to seal the win.

Michigan had 355 total yards including 279 passing yards. Utah had 337 total yards including 208 passing. Both team had 20 first downs. Utah had 6 penalties for 55 yards and Michigan had 3 penalties for 25 yards.  The Wolverines had 3 turnovers to just one for the Utes.

Rudock completed 27 of 43 passes for 279 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and had 5 carries for 11 yards. Running back De’Veon Smith had 17 carries for 47 yards, and also had a catch for 6 yards. Darboh had 8 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Butt had 8 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Grant Perry and Jehu Chesson each had 3 catches.

Oregon State is 8-2 ATS after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 5-2-1 after passing for less than 170 yards, 11-23-1 in September, 2-6 after allowing less than 20 points, 2-7 in non-conference games, 1-4 after an ATS loss, in road games, after allowing less than 275 total yards, and after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 1-5 after a straight up win, 1-6 on fieldturf, and 1-7 overall.

Michigan is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 5-1 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 4-1 against teams with winning road records, 0-4 in non-conference games, 0-7 in September and 0-9 against Pac 12 teams.

Both teams struggled on offense last week. Michigan turned the ball over three times and you can’t do that against a very solid team especially on the road. Harbaugh will build a contender but for right now 16.5 points seems like a lot. Michigan might not even score that many points. I think Michigan wins a low scoring game by a touchdown or so.

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