College Football Week 1 Picks: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Michigan Wolverines

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. No. 17 Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, 8/31/13, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Michigan -34.5
Current Betting Line:  Michigan -31
Opening Total:  53.5
Current Total:  52
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Michigan Wolverines are 12-6 ATS as favorites since 2011
The Michigan Wolverines are 12-6 ATS as favorites since 2011

Central Michigan carries over a four-game winning streak from 2012, including a season-ending 24-21 win over Western Kentucky in the Little Caesar’s Bowl.  The Chippewas are set to face a Big Ten Conference opponent in a season opener for the first time since 2005, while they aim to improve to 4-0 in lidlifters under head coach Dan Enos.  Offensively, the team returns two premier weapons in running back Zurlon Tipton and junior wide receiver Titus Davis.  Central Michigan is 3-13 as underdogs the last two seasons, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds page.

The Chippewas’ defense returns three of its top tacklers from 2012, including linebacker Justin Cherocci, who led the team and ranked fifth in the MAC and 19th nationally with 132 total tackles last season.  Central Michigan is just one of 11 teams in the nation to have no quarterbacks on its roster that have started an FBS game, which is important to consider when making your college football betting picks.

Michigan is 110-18-2 all-time in home openers, including a 17-3 mark in its last 20 at Michigan Stadium.  The Wolverines have won all 14 of their home games under current head coach Brady Hoke, while the program has proven victorious in front of its fans in 17 consecutive games in the month of September.  The team is 31-1 against MAC opponents in its history, which includes a 63-13 blowout victory over Massachusetts on Sept. 15 of last season.  Michigan is 12-6 ATS as favorites the last two campaigns, with no edge in terms of the betting total (7-7 Over/Under).

The Wolverines will be led by quarterback Devin Gardner on the offensive end, as he completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,219 yards and 11 scores in 2012.  He accounted for at least two touchdowns in each of his five games under center, while earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors on two occasions.  Under the guidance of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, the program has finished back-to-back seasons ranked in the top 20 in total defense.

Sports bettors will likely back the Wolverines due to their 11-5-1 ATS mark in their last 17 non-conference games.

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