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Michigan Wolverines Football Team Preview 2019: Odds and Predictions

Written by: Andre Viljoen
Updated October 14, 2022
6 min read

2018 Season in Review

Most schools would consider a 10-2 season a remarkable achievement, especially if they had faced five ranked opponents on their schedule. Michigan, however, is not like most schools, as expectations have been high in Ann Arbor since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach.

After a tough loss to Notre Dame in the season opener, the Wolverines ripped off ten straight wins without surrendering more than 21 points. Included in that winning streak were victories over ranked Big Ten foes Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Penn State. Yet the biggest monkey on Harbaugh’s back, Ohio State, came back to ruin Michigan’s hopes for a conference title in a 62-39 beating. That deflating loss carried over into bowl season, as the Maize and Blue fell to Florida 41-15 in the Peach Bowl.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • QB Shea Patterson (Senior) – 2,600 Pass Yards | 22 Pass TD | 7 INT
  • WR/PR Donovan Peoples-Jones (Junior) – 47 Receptions | 612 Rec Yards | 8 Rec TD
  • DE Josh Uche (Senior) – 12 Total Tackles | 8.0 TFL | 7.0 Sacks
  • S Josh Metellus (Senior) – 47 Total Tackles | 3 INT | 5 Pass Def

Quarterback Shea Patterson is back after putting off the NFL draft for one year, as he will look to improve his draft stock. Patterson will have his two top receivers from last season in Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins. Last year’s third string running back, Tru Wilson, is the top returning rusher, although he will fight sophomore Christian Turner and true freshman Zach Charbonnet for carries. The offensive line will be in good hands, as fifth year senior left tackleJon Runyan leads the talented group filled with All-Big Ten selections.

Top returning tackler, Josh Ross will take over at middle linebacker, where he will be surrounded by seniors in Khaleke Hudson, Jordan Glasgow, and Devin Gil. Safety Josh Metellus will also lead an experienced secondary that will feature fellow upperclassmen Brad Hawkins, Ambry Thomas, and Lavert Hill. The defensive line should also be strong with tackles Michael Dwumfour and Carlo Kemp, while top returning pass rusher Josh Uche will look to build on his solid junior season.

Key Departures

  • DE Rashan Gary (NFL Draft)
  • MLB Devin Bush (NFL Draft)
  • DE Chase Winovich (Graduation)
  • CB David Long (NFL Draft)

A defense as talented as the 2018 unit is bound to suffer losses to the pros, and Michigan’s case is no different. The biggest loss is arguably All-American linebacker Devin Bush, who was drafted tenth overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fellow first round pick Rashan Gary will also be missed, along with pass rusher Chase Winovich and David Long among several other defenders.

The Wolverines did lose some key players on the other side of the ball, however, as leading rusher Karan Higdon graduated, while tight end Zach Gentry elected to not pursue a fifth year and joins Bush in Pittsburgh.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to Rivals.com)

  • S Daxton Hill – 5 Star | 6-1, 190lb | Booker T. Washington HS | Tulsa, OK
  • DT Christopher Hinton – 5 Star | 6-5, 285lb | Greater Atlanta Christian HS | Norcross, GA
  • RB Zach Charbonnet – 4 Star | 6-2, 219lb | Oaks Christian HS | Westlake Village, CA
  • OT Trente Jones – 4 Star | 6-5, 293lb | Grayson HS | Loganville, GA

Although he may not always come out on top on the field, Harbaugh is showing he can be a top recruiter in the Big Ten, as he pulled in the highest ranking class within the conference. Topping the class is the number one ranked safety prospect in Daxton Hill, along with the second ranked defensive tackle recruit in Christopher Hinton. O-line recruits Trente Jones and Trevor Keegan round out a diverse class that featured just two in-state commitments.

Michigan Wolverines 2019 Schedule

Date Opponent
August 31st Middle Tennessee State
September 7th Army
September 21st @ Wisconsin
September 28th Rutgers
October 5th Iowa
October 12th @ Illinois
October 19th @ Penn State
October 26th Notre Dame
November 2nd @ Maryland
November 16th Michigan State
November 23rd @ Indiana
November 30th Ohio State

With Ohio State transitioning to a new head coach, 2019 seems as good a year as ever for Michigan to finally catch the Buckeyes. The Wolverines will definitely head into the Notre Dame game hungry for revenge, while road trips to Wisconsin and Penn State should present challenges as always. Getting rivals Michigan State and Ohio State at home in the Big House could be the deciding factor of whether the Wolverines finally break through or if Harbaugh starts feeling some heat under his seat.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Playoff Odds in New Jersey

New Jersey residents can log on to 888Sport to wager on Michigan’s College Football Playoff odds as well as their win total. With an over/under of 10 wins, a lot will be expected out of the Wolverines this season.

To Make the Playoffs

Sportsbook Yes No Link
888Sport NJ +250 -345

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Number of Games Won – Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

Sportsbook Over 10 Under 10 Link
888Sport NJ -118 +104

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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Andre Viljoen

150 Articles

Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.

Email: [email protected]

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