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SMU

vs.

Michigan

College Football

Free Pick

9/15/18

Michigan got back on track and handled business with an easy 49-3 win against Western Michigan last weekend and another one is in the cards. In fact, this one could end up going easier given how SMU has looked in its first two games losing by at least 23 points in both contests. The Wolverines opened as large -35.5 point home favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook

This spread will likely move up throughout the week because Michigan is already a popular team and winning by 40 is definitely within reach. SMU hasn’t looked good in its first two games and the only reason it lost by just 30 points to TCU was because of a rainy game. After competing against both North Texas and TCU last year, the Mustangs are in a hole that’s going to get bigger after this game.

Michigan’s offense should come close to matching what it did against WMU, scoring 35 points in the first half. Shea Patterson again won’t be asked to do much, but he still managed three touchdowns on 17 attempts last game. Karan Higdon and Chris Evans should have their way with another 250 rushing yards or even 300 a possibility. It’s hard to see Michigan’s line not having success against this group. SMU had no answers to stopping North Texas’s passing attack and then gave up 247 yards and 5.9 yards per carry against TCU last game. The Wolverines should control this game with their rushing attack and then the defense will do the rest.

Michigan’s defense remains one of the best in the country and after holding Western to three points, should be headed for another similar outing of holding SMU to single digits. Things haven’t gone well for the Mustangs as the offensive line has been a major issue for getting quarterback Ben Hicks time in the pocket. After a solid 2017 with 33 touchdowns, he’s struggled in the first two games and only managed 111 yards on 38 attempts against TCU. And outside of a 51-yard run, SMU’s offense didn’t do much against TCU, which will likely be the case again. In fact, similar to Hicks, it’s been a rough season for top running back Braeden West, who only has 19 carries for 104 yards mostly because the offense has needed to pass every time on the field. Throw out the 51-yard run and West has 18 carries for 53 yards, which comes out to less than three yards pre carry.

Covering for SMU would require its defense to hold Michigan to less than 40 points and score close to 10 points itself. The Mustangs were lucky to lose by only 30 points to TCU and that game came at home. Now in the Big House, expect more issues for Hicks and the offense in Sonny Dykes’s first season as head coach. 

After its opening loss, Michigan was surprisingly a bit underrated. But the difference between Notre Dame and these other schools is a lot and when you have Michigan’s talent against lesser competition, it leads to blowouts. That’s what happened against WMU and that’s what will happen against SMU. The Mustangs haven’t covered in their last six games overall while the Wolverines are 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games.  

Our Pick - The total for this game is 53.5. Last season, not one SMU game had less than 54 points. This year, so far, more of the same as their games saw total points of 69 and 54 thus far. See where we're going here? OVER 53.5

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