Week four of the 2015 college football season kicks off Saturday with an early game from the Big House in Ann Arbor, MI with the 22nd ranked BYU Cougars (2-1) taking on the Michigan Wolverines (2-1) of the BIg Ten at noon EST. The Cougars started out hot this season with Tanner Mangum taking the reins under center and quickly earning a reputation for big plays and heart-stopping comeback wins. Michigan has started Jim Harbaugh’s tenure with tough defense, but have had their share of difficulties establishing an identity offensively.
BYU opened the season with a pair of last-second wins over top-level programs on the strength of Hail Mary TD passes from their talented freshman quarterback Mangum. In week one the Cougars went on the road to Lincoln, NE and defeated the Cornhuskers 33-28, and in week two they beat a talented Boise St. team 35-24. Last week they suffered their first loss on the road against UCLA 24-23.
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Michigan opened their campaign with a 24-17 road loss to Utah. In week two Michigan notched their first win of the Harbaugh era with a 35-7 win over Oregon State, and followed it up with a 28-7 win over UNLV at home last week. The Michigan offense is a work in progress with Iowa transfer Jake Rudock under center in his first year with the Wolverines. Rudock threw for only 123 yards last week and tossed his 5th INT of the season against the Runnin Rebels. Running back Ty Isaac had 8 carries for 114 yards last week, including a 76-yard touchdown, which is the team’s longest play from scrimmage this season.The Wolverines secondary is one of the strongest in the nation, allowing just 144 passing yards per game, 13th best in the country.
BYU vs. Michigan Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
BYU Cougars +6.5
@Michigan Wolverines -6.5
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
BYU vs. Michigan Pick:
BYU is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 September games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Wolverines are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 September games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss. The over is 4-1 in BYU’s last 5 games overall, 6-2 in their last 8 road games and 5-2 in their last 7 games against teams with a winning record. The under is 5-0 in Michigan’s last 5 home games, 6-1 in their last 7 games overall and 8-1 in their last 9 September games.
BYU comes into the game with their momentum slowed down by a tough loss to UCLA last week, but they stil have proven that they are never out of a game with Mangum leading their offense. Michigan does have a tough defense and has shown they can be effective against the pass, but their two victories have come at home against subpar competition. BYU has played three tough teams in a row, with two of those games coming on the road, and has been all of the them right until the end. Michigan does not have the type of offense that can put a team as talented as BYU away, the Cougars should be in this game all the way through if they do not win it outright. Take BYU and the points here.