Air Force Falcons (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. No. 19 Michigan Wolverines (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 8th, 2012/3:30 p.m. EST
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Air Force +21/Mich. -21
Over/Under Total: 61
With nothing left to do except pick themselves back up and get after the next game, the Michigan Wolverines will be looking to turn the page in a hurry Saturday when they welcome the Air Force Falcons into the Big House of Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines opener against Alabama was a colossal failure, as the Tide rolled to an easy, 41-14, win and in the process made senior quarterback Denard Robinson look pedestrian. Robinson and the Michigan offense were held to just 11 first downs in the showdown as Bama proved again that Robinson is still not a throwing QB, taking one of his two interceptions to the house to break open the game at 31-0 midway through the second quarter.
One thing is for sure, the Air Force Academy is not going to feel much sympathy for the Wolverines on Saturday. With a solid 49-21 win over Idaho State in the opener, the Falcons and their option offense is not exactly the best type of scheme for the Wolverines to try and prepare for in a down week following a deflating loss.
However, the oddsmakers and managers at the sportsbooks dont seem to be buying into the catch them while their down scenario, setting the opening betting line with Michigan as huge 21-point favorites at home. Most of the sportsbooks in Las Vegas are even up the hook to -21.5, breaking the chance at a push.
The over/under total opened at 61 at some of the offshore sportsbooks offering a total on the game this early in the week. There is even a 61.5 at 5Dimes right now, so look for the number to hang around the 61 to 62 mark up until kickoff.
The good news for Michigan is that theyve played against the best defense theyre going to see this season, and the one Air Force fields is like apples and oranges. Robinson will try and get on track both running and throwing the ball, while the addition of Fitzgerald Toussaint following his suspension will help the Wolverines get back on track. The fact that the Air Force defense allowed over 430 yards, 24 first downs and a 9-of-17 third down percentage to Idaho State last week should also help Wolverine fans sleep at night.
Air Force will try and get running back Cody Getz going early. Getz, who ran for 218 yards and three TDs last week, and quarterback Connor Dietz form a solid two-headed attack that will certainly put the Wolverines young front seven on defense to the test.
These two schools have met only once in their long storied football histories, with the Wolverines winning 24-7 in Ann Arbor back in 1964. Air Force will also be trying to break a 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents, a streak theyve come close to snapping in recent years but have never been able to finish the deal.
There arent many betting trends to analyze either, although the Falcons were good on the road at the end of last season going 4-1 ATS in their last five roadies. But Air Force is also a notorious slow starter, with an 0-5 ATS mark in their last five September contests. Michigan is 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Everyone in Ann Arbor from coach Brady Hoke down to Robinson to the rest of the team has talked all week about not letting the Bama loss hurt them twice. But I cant help but think it will. Michigan will get healthy and get a win, but chasing three touchdowns or three and the hook no thanks. Im not sold yet. If forced to pick, Id take Air Force plus the points. But instead Ill probably just walk away.
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