The Michigan Wolverines are off to a 1-0 start after taking care of business against East Carolina. After playing their first stream-only game of the new era of college football viewing, Saturday’s matchup against UNLV will also be on a new channel. CBS welcomes Big Ten action this year, and they get the Wolverines in the 3:30 p.m. slot as they welcome the Rebels to the Big House.
Let’s break down this game and some of the other action across college football this weekend with the help of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines vs. UNLV Rebels
- TV: CBS
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: MICH -36.5, O/U: 57.5
- Best Bet (2-1): MICH -36.5
The spread for this one is identical to that of last week’s game against East Carolina. While the Wolverines didn’t cover the spread, they very well could have had they not fumbled on the goal line in the fourth quarter, nor allowed that wimpy field goal as time expired.
Michigan is going with two head coaches in this game, as special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh will run the show in the first half and running backs coach Mike Hart takes control from halftime on. Most notably, however, is offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore returning to the sidelines. The Wolverines were exactly 50-50 in offensive play calls last week, running the ball 31 times and passing 31 times. If J.J. McCarthy can be as efficient through the air as he was in Week 1 — going 26-of-30 for 280 yards and three touchdowns — this offense is going to habitually put up big points.
Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards nearly broke off a few big runs on multiple occasions last week, too. I think they could have a higher offensive output against the Rebels.
Defensively, I love the Wolverines’ chances of getting close to pitching a shutout. UNLV crushed Bryant in Week 1 thanks to 40 carries, 283 yards, and five touchdowns. But they threw only 24 times, and starting quarterback Doug Brumfield had only 86 passing yards and an interception in this game. Against Michigan’s vaunted defensive line, I think the Rebels struggle to move the ball and won’t put many points on the board, if any.
After ironing out the first-game jitters and having more coaches on the sidelines, give me the Wolverines BIG at home.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. No. 22 Colorado Buffaloes
- TV: FOX
- Time: Noon ET
- Location: Boulder, CO
- Weather: 66 degrees, sunny
- DraftKings Odds: CO -3, O/U: 59.5, ML: CO -162, NEB +136
- Best Bet (2-1): CO -3
Deion Sanders and his squad made a statement by upsetting TCU on the road to open the season. The Buffaloes have almost an entirely new squad, but they looked legit. Shadeur Sanders made an early case to be in the Heisman conversation by racking up more than 500 yards and four touchdowns.
Travis Hunter is also a unique talent, having played 119 snaps combined at both receiver and corner. He earned an interception AND was over the century mark in receiving yards as well. The Buffaloes will not be afraid to air it out against Nebraska by targeting Hunter and Dylan Edwards, who scored three times in the first week of the season.
A lot of the money, however, is going towards Nebraska. The Cornhuskers lost at the buzzer to Minnesota on Thursday and have a long week in preparation for this rivalry matchup. Nebraska probably should have won that game, if it weren’t for three interceptions from starting quarterback Jeff Sims. This game opened with the Buffs being a five-point favorite, but has dropped to just three points.
The belief by those favoring the Huskers is they will be able to move the ball on the ground and control the clock, giving Colorado less opportunity to put up the gaudy numbers they did a week ago. The Buffaloes did give up 262 yards on the ground to TCU, and many question how good their defense can be.
However, if Colorado can get up early, I think Nebraska is going to struggle to catch up. Sims threw about eight passes that could have been intercepted against Minnesota, and he’s struggled to take care of the ball back to his days at Georgia Tech.
Deion Sanders and the Buffs are going to come in with a bunch of swagger against a team that had a demoralizing loss last week. With Colorado being at home and playing in front of a full house for the first time in the Sanders era, I think they put the hammer down against Nebraska and go 2-0.
No. 11 Texas Longhorns vs. No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide
- TV: ESPN
- Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
- Weather: 92 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: BAMA -7.5, O/U: 54.5, ML: BAMA -290, TX +235
- Best Bet (2-1): U54.5
The 2022 version of this game was close. Texas probably should have upset the Crimson Tide at home, but now this moves to Tuscaloosa, and I don’t like the Longhorns’ chances.
Alabama just does not lose games at home early in the season. Last season, the Crimson Tide started to perform slightly better on offense when Young used his legs to pick up yards. That’s all Jalen Milrose does, while still having a good enough arm to pick up yards through the air.
Texas showed a bit less of an identity on offense without Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson in Week 1. The Longhorns scored just 16 points in the first half against Rice. Going on the road in a hostile environment with one of the best defenses in college football on the other side, I’m worried about them getting the big plays they have had to rely on to win games in the past.
I think Alabama wins by double-digits, but I like the under even more. The Crimson Tide held the under in their contests five of seven times at home last season, and the under hit for Texas non-conference games four of the last five times. Give me the Tide and the under.