College Football Betting Predictions: San Diego St Aztecs at Michigan Wolverines

San Diego St Aztecs at #22 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Saturday, September 24, 2011, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Michigan -7 1/2
Current Line: Michigan -10
Opening Total: 60 1/2
Current Total: 60 1/2
Opening Money Line: Michigan -325 / SDSU +265
Current Money Line: Michigan -360 / SDSU +300

The Michigan Wolverines are 10 point favorites at home against San Diego St this weekend. Both teams are 3-0 this season as Michigan coach Brady Hoke takes on his former team.

New Michigan coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines take on his former team the San Diego St Aztecs in a battle of 3-0 teams. Former New Mexico coach Rocky Long took over as Aztecs coach when Hoke left to coach his Alma Mater. Michigan is 3-0 this season and ranked #21 in the AP Poll and #22 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. Michigan has wins over Western Michigan 34-10, Notre Dame 35-31, and last week against Eastern Michigan 31-3. The game against San Diego St will be the fourth of five straight home games to start the season for Michigan.

San Diego St out of the Mountain West is off to their first 3-0 start since 1981. The Aztecs have wins over Cal Poly 49-21, at Army 23-20, and last week at home 42-24 against Washington St. SDSU is receiving votes in both polls.

San Diego St and Michigan are meeting for the second time ever in football. The Wolverines escaped with a 24-21 victory in 2004 in Ann Arbor. Michigan and San Diego St are also linked in basketball as former Wolverines coach Steve Fisher, who won the 1989 national championship with Michigan, is now the coach for the Aztecs and led them to their best season ever last year and a berth in the sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

Washington St led 24-14 on the road at San Diego St in the third quarter before the Aztecs scored the last 28 points of the game to win 42-24. The game was sloppy on both sides with 6 combined turnovers and 12 combined penalties. San Diego St won despite having 2 turnovers. The Aztecs had 500 total yards in the game including 227 rushing yards. Running back Ronnie Hillman had a huge game with 32 carries for 191 yards and 4 touchdowns along with 2 catches for 31 yards. Quarterback Ryan Lindley was 21/37 passing with 2 touchdown passes (both to Gavin Escobar), and an interception. The Aztecs had 25 first downs and were an impressive 11/19 on third down conversions. SDSU allowed 419 total yards to the Cougars last week including 51 rushing yards. Washington St had 19 first downs and were 6/15 on third and fourth down conversions. They had 7 penalties and 4 turnovers in the game. The win broke a 12 game home losing streak against Pac 10/12 teams for San Diego St.

San Diego St is averaging 428 yards a game and 38 points a game. The Aztecs are averaging 220.7 rushing yards a game. Through three games SDSU has 2 turnovers and has allowed one sack. The Aztecs are 23/46 on third and fourth down conversions for the season. San Diego St is allowing 383 yards and 21.7 points a game. The Aztecs are giving up 197 rushing yards a game, but that is a little misleading as they had a game against Army and their triple option offense where all they do is run. The Black Knights had over 400 rushing yards themselves against the Aztecs. SDSU has forced 8 turnovers and 9 sacks this year. Aztec opponents are 22/50 on third and fourth down conversions.

Aztec Quarterback Lindley is 44/82 passing with 622 yards, 7 touchdowns and an interception. Running back Hillman has 77 carries for 497 yards, and 8 rushing touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 53 yards. Receiver Colin Lockett has 12 catches, 254 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Dylan Denso has 9 catches for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gavin Escobar has 8 catches, 94 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The Aztecs have three receivers that are out for the season and another Larry Clark is questionable with a knee injury. Depth could be an issue for the Aztecs at the position. Kicker Abelardo Perez is 15/16 on extra points and 1/3 on field goals with a 42 yarder.

Michigan appeared to have a bit of a hangover from their thrilling win over rival Notre Dame as they were down 3-0 early in the second quarter to lowly Eastern Michigan. The Wolverines scored the last 31 points of the game to win 31-3. However, Michigan didn’t cover the 28.5  college football betting line against the Eagles. Michigan had 471 total yards including 376 rushing yards. Quarterback Denard Robinson was only 7/18 passing with 95 yards, and an interception. He did throw 2 touchdown passes though. He did more damage rushing the ball with 26 carries, 198 yards and a touchdown. It was a ho-hum victory for the Wolverines against a team they should have beaten by 40. The Wolverines held the Eagles to 236 total yards, including just 29 passing yards. The Eagles only threw the ball 6 times in the game and rushed 46 times for 207 yards.

Michigan is averaging 403.7 yards and 33.3 points a game. The Wolverines are averaging 226.7 rushing yards a game. Michigan had allowed 1 sack and had 4 turnovers on the season. Michigan is 16/31 on third and fourth down conversions. Michigan is holding opponents to 342.7 yards and 14.7 points a game. The Wolverines are allowing 167 rushing yards a game. Michigan has forced 10 turnovers and 3 sacks on the year. Michigan opponents are 20/40 on third and fourth down conversions. Michigan opponents are only 6/10 scoring in the red zone with only 4 touchdowns.

Denard Robinson is the leading passer and rusher for the Wolverines. He is 27/55 passing for 531 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 50 carries, 352 yards, and 2 touchdowns. RB Vincent Smith has 12 carries for 132 yards, and he also has 2 catches for 26 yards, and a touchdown catch. Fitzgerald Toussaint has 22 carries, 126 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Junior Hemingway has 4 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Gallon has 7 catches for 135 yards and a touchd0wn. Six Wolverines have caught a touchdown pass this year. Kicker Brendan Gibbons is 13/14 on extra points and 1/1 on field goals with a 21 yard kick.

Both Michigan and San Diego St are 2-1 against the spread this season.  The under is 2-1 in Michigan’s 3 games and the over is 2-1 in SDSU’s games. Michigan is 6-16 ATS when playing with 6 days or fewer rest the last 3 seasons, and 0-8 ATS in the last 2 seasons against teams with winning records. San Diego St is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 September games, 5-1 ATS in the last 6 non-conference games, against a team with a winning record, and as a road underdog, 4-1 ATS in the last 5 as anunderdog, in the last 5 overall, and against Big Ten teams.  Michigan is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.

This line has moved from Michigan -7.5 to Michigan -10, mainly because Michigan has a high profile win over Notre Dame. San Diego St is a talented team that could be a dark horse candidate to contend for the Mountain West title with Boise St and TCU. I do think the Aztecs can keep this close especially with such a talented running back like Hillman.

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