Michigan Football Odds: Wolverines Lose Ronnie Bell, Still Favored Vs. Washington

Written By Drew Ellis on September 7, 2021

Despite a preseason without a lot of buzz, the Michigan football team made positive gains this past weekend.

After a dominant, 47-14 season-opening win over Western Michigan, perhaps the Wolverines are more than what we thought.

Michigan now turns its attention to a step up in competition when it takes on previously-ranked Washington.

Will playing under the lights at The Big House improve the Michigan football odds of going 2-0?

How to watch: Michigan Wolverines vs. Washington Huskies

  • Who: Washington (0-1) at Michigan (1-0)
  • When: 8 p.m. ET Saturday
  • Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
  • TV: ABC (Announcers: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Molly McGrath)
  • Online livestream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Learfield Michigan Sports Network
  • Satellite Radio: SiriusXM Channel 197 (Washington), Channel 201 (Michigan)

Oddsmakers like Michigan by a touchdown

Michigan was easily able to cover a 17-point spread last weekend in the over Western Michigan. This week, oddsmakers see a much more competitive battle against Washington. Early in the week, Michigan found themselves ranging as a 6- to 6.5-point favorite in odds markets over Washington, depending on the sportsbook.

The Michigan moneyline was listed from -255 to -275, while Washington came in with opening odds of +200 to +210.

The over/under total initially ranged from 51 to 51.5 points.

Our tracker below shows the best current odds available in each betting category.

Michigan vs. Washington Odds: NCAA Football Week 2

These two teams have met 12 times, with Michigan winning seven of those meetings. The last encounter was in 2002, a 31-29 win for Michigan at home.

Wolverines win opener, but lose Ronnie Bell

Things were largely positive for Michigan in the 47-14 win over the Broncos on Saturday.

However, the team lost senior receiver Ronnie Bell for the season to a knee injury suffered during a punt return.

Bell was the team’s leading receiver in 2020 and had a 76-yard touchdown reception prior to the injury in Saturday’s contest.

Michigan’s offense otherwise put up an impressive 551 total yards in the win, including 335 on the ground. Blake Corum led the effort with 111 yards and a score on 14 carries, while A.J. Henning busted a 74-yard TD run. Hassan Haskins added 70 yards on 13 carries with a score.

Cade McNamara was 9-for-11 passing for 136 yards and two scores, while freshman J.J. McCarthy got some mop-up time and threw for 80 yards. His 69-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Baldwin drew a lot of national attention.

Defensively, Michigan held Western Michigan to 317 total yards. However, U-M wasn’t able to force any turnovers and had just one sack.

Huskies suffer massive upset at home

In an opening weekend with some surprising results, not many were more shocking than Washington’s 13-7 loss at home to Montana.

The Huskies were ranked as high as No. 20 in the preseason and came into the contest as a 22.5-point favorite.

It was a defensive battle Saturday, with the two teams combining for fewer total yards (521) than Michigan had on its own against WMU.

The Huskies had just 291 yards, as turnovers were a big problem. Freshman Washington quarterback Dylan Morris had a debut to forget. He was 27-for-46 for 226 yards with three interceptions. Morris was also sacked three times.

The Washington ground game amassed 65 yards on 27 carries. Richard Newton had 62 of those 65 team yards.

Defensively, the Huskies held Montana to 232 total yards, but couldn’t force a turnover and had just one sack.

Wolverines dominant under Michigan Stadium lights

Playing under the lights of Michigan Stadium hasn’t been a long tradition for the football program.

The first occurrence of a home night game for the Wolverines was just 10 years ago in 2011, when U-M topped Notre Dame 35-31.

In the past 10 years, Michigan has played nine night home games, and Saturday’s contest with Washington will be the 10th.

The Wolverines are 7-2 in those games, with the two losses against Michigan State (2017) and Wisconsin (2020).

Saturday will be the first time Michigan hosts a Pac-12 Conference program in the home night game.

Photo by Tony Ding/AP
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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