NCAA Football: Where Michigan State, Michigan Futures Stand As Season Nears

Written By Danny Lawhon on August 23, 2021 - Last Updated on August 24, 2021

We’re mere days from the kickoff (on time, this time) to the 2021 NCAA football season. And we’re less than two weeks from Michigan State and Michigan getting their autumn campaigns going.

At the end of July, we updated you on whether the betting public thought the Spartans and Wolverines would be eclipsing their particular win totals this fall.

The slices of optimism and pessimism were certainly based on the prospective marks to hit, but the early returns were fascinating, all the same. Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan bunch, projected at 7.5 wins, was among the biggest under bets through BetMGM Sportsbook at the time. Mel Tucker and Michigan State were on the low bar at just 4.5 victories, and Michigan sports betting saw a flood of “over” activity as a result.

But where do things stand now? We’ve got an update.

Wolverines, Spartans no longer over-under outliers

Let’s start with the line-mover. Michigan State’s total moved up from that opening 4.5 mark to a flat 5-win total in most places. At BetMGM, the return is at -120 and holding. More than 78% of tickets are on the over, along with a whopping 94% of the handle.

That said, the sportsbook’s top over bets now belong to teams in the Southeastern Conference, with Ole Miss and Kentucky leading the way.

Michigan has held firm at the 7.5 mark, with ticket percentage now evening out. The unders have the edge at BetMGM, but by a mere 52.2% majority. And the handle has swayed in the opposite direction, with two-thirds of the money seeing an 8-4 season or better from the Wolverines.

Michigan is still in the top-three under category, according to the book’s recent data, which was released Monday. Big Ten Conference compatriot Nebraska and perennial power Alabama possess the higher volume of under bets.

Week 1 College Football: Michigan, Michigan State openers

If you’re looking for more quick betting coverage on Michigan State before its Sept. 3 opening game at Northwestern (that’s a Friday!), check out our season preview.

The Wolverines open their season the following day (Sept. 4) at home against Western Michigan. We’ve got an overview of Michigan’s key games this fall as well.

Photo by Doug McSchooler/AP
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Danny Lawhon

Danny has more than a decade of reporting experience in three states, including nearly 10 years with the Des Moines Register. He's covered college and professional sports, the NCAA Tournament and the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours. Danny is a professional musician in his spare time and plays the piano and pipe organ (seriously). He now covers the online gambling industry in Michigan.

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