Vegas lists Michigan among favorites to win the CFP title: What are those oddsmakers thinking?

Does Jim + Jim = Magic? Michigan’s coaching staff appears to be set — finally — with the reported addition of former Florida and Colorado State coach Jim McElwain as the 10 th, and newest, member of Jim Harbaugh’s team.

The move is curious on a couple of fronts and is more than a little ironic, given that McElwain went out of his way to jab Harbaugh and Michigan before the Wolverines and Gators met in Arlington, Texas, to open the 2017 campaign. The Maize and Blue rolled Florida, 33-17, and McElwain left the program on Oct. 29 after a 42-7 thrashing by rival Georgia left the Gators with a 3-4 mark.

Football makes for interesting bedfellows, sometimes — and even more interesting projections, especially where Las Vegas is concerned. Westgate Casino’s SuperBook last month was hitting the Harbaugh Kool-Aid harder than most:

You want to roll with that bet? Former Michigan and NFL running back Chris Howard and Land of 10 writer-columnist Sean Keeler decided to check their respective wallets and see if they could get each other to pony up …


Q: Las Vegas Westgate gives Michigan the fifth-best odds in the country to win a national title in 2018 at 10-1. Do you take that bet?



I’m not a gambler and I don’t care much for polls. As a former player, I believe that you and your teammates determine your destiny through hard work and preparation, not algorithms, and certainly not through Las Vegas. When I read that Las Vegas Westgate gave my Wolverines the fourth-best odds to win a national title, I thought to myself: What are they smoking?

RELATED: Land of 10 columnist Sean Keeler says he’ll take that bet

Chris Howard

There are so many factors working against Michigan, but let’s start with the obvious: strength of schedule. Analyst Matt Smith ranks Michigan with the toughest schedule in 2018, and rightfully so. The Wolverines open the season in South Bend vs. Notre Dame and play away games at Northwestern, Michigan State and Ohio State. The Wolverines will play Wisconsin and Penn State at home, but the Wolverines still have the potential to have four top-10 teams on the schedule.

Who is going to lead this team from the quarterback position? People in the know believe Shea Patterson will be eligible. But even if he is, Patterson is coming off a knee injury and will have a short amount of time to adapt to a new system and players. Will rust be a factor in how effective he is? Patterson is a wild card in the equation.

Michigan’s offensive staff will be adding a new member to its brain trust, and all signs point to former Florida coach Jim McElwain as the new guy. Is he going to be designated as the offensive coordinator? Is Tim Drevno still calling the plays? We still don’t know who is doing what just yet.

Offensive line veteran Mason Cole is out of eligibility and is moving on to the next level. Cole was the most consistent and versatile offensive lineman the Wolverines had. Patrick Kugler also has moved on, so there will be some new faces along the offensive front with little experience.

The defense will be top 10 again but really needs to get better play from the safety position — and will need help from the offense to sustain drives against good teams to really have a shot at any title hopes. With all these uncertainties, it’s safe to say that I don’t like the odds.

The post Vegas lists Michigan among favorites to win the CFP title: What are those oddsmakers thinking? appeared first on Land of 10.

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