How Michigan Climbed To The Top Of The NCAA Basketball Title Odds

Written By Drew Ellis on January 13, 2021
michigan wolverines odds

It would be hard to find a team playing better right now in college basketball than Michigan.

The Wolverines have been running through ranked opponents in recent weeks, establishing themselves as a legit championship contender.

Can Juwan Howard’s squad continue the momentum and march toward a Big Ten title? Or will their hopes fade before March Madness betting kicks into high gear?

Here’s where things stand for the University of Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team right now.

Michigan scores another big win

First of all, Michigan is coming off a 77-54 win over No. 9 Wisconsin last night to move to 11-0 on the season and 6-0 in the Big Ten.

During the victory, Michigan outscored the Badgers 43-6 over one stretch of play.

The win marks three straight wins over ranked opponents by 19 points or more. According to The Associated Press, this marks the first time in history a team has beaten three consecutive ranked opponents by that wide of a margin.

The Wolverines are one of three Power 5 programs to remain undefeated in the 2020-21 college basketball season. Joining Michigan is top-ranked Gonzaga (12-0) and No. 2 Baylor (11-0).

Michigan Wolverines odds are soaring

Coming into the season we took a look at Michigan’s odds for postseason success. The Wolverines weren’t regarded very highly.

Their odds to win the NCAA Tournament ranged from +2800 to +4000. Michigan Wolverines odds to win the Big Ten Tournament were soundly at +1100.

As you can see, things have changed. (Odds last updated on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m ET.)

Michigan Wolverines BetMGM DraftKings FanDuel PointsBet William Hill
Big Ten Winner +125 (Tournament winner) +225 +210 (Tournament winner) N/A N/A
Final Four Appearance N/A -150 +150 +170 N/A
National Championship +700 +450 +600 +600 +650

Michigan now finds itself among the top favorites to win a national championship this season. The Wolverines’ odds range from +900 to +1200.

FanDuel Sportsbook has Michigan as the current favorite to win the Big Ten regular-season title, giving the Wolverines +155 odds.

DraftKings Sportsbook lists Michigan at +300 to win the Big Ten Tournament.

So how did Michigan turn the odds in their favor?

1. Opponents unable to keep pace

Michigan’s shooting has really been the biggest key to its success thus far in the season.

After Tuesday’s win, Michigan is shooting 52.4% from the field. That ranks seventh nationally.

Their 3-point shooting has been on point as well, as they are knocking down close to eight per game. In last night’s victory, Michigan was 9 of 16 from the arc.

Conversely, opponents are having a hard time getting good shots on Michigan. The Wolverines are holding opponents to just 36.9% shooting, which ranks 10th nationally.

In 11 games this season, Michigan has won all but one by double figures. Penn State was able to hold the Wolverines’ offense in check, but Michigan still picked up a 62-58 win on Dec. 13.

Those winning margins have made Michigan sports betting fans happy, as Michigan is 9-2 against the spread on the season.

2. Hunter Dickinson, a freshman phenom

Juwan Howard is in just his second season as head coach of Michigan, and he seems to have found his face of the program.

Freshman center Hunter Dickinson was a 4-star recruit from Virginia that was part of a solid incoming class for Michigan this season.

Standing 7 feet, 1 inch, Dickinson is leading Michigan in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg), and blocks (1.5 bpg).

With the ball, Dickinson has been as close to automatic as it gets. He is shooting .709 from the floor.

While not even on the radar for the John Wooden Award, given to the top player in the nation, Dickinson finds himself with +4000 odds currently from FanDuel.

3. Depth and size behind Hunter Dickinson

Outside of the great play from their freshman center, Michigan has a lot of depth and size at the guard and forward positions as well.

Senior Isaiah Livers (6’7”) opted to return for his final year with Michigan, as opposed to entering the 2020 NBA Draft. It has worked out well for both, as he is averaging 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Sophomore guard Franz Wagner (6’9”) is averaging 12.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.

Guards Mike Smith, Chaundee Brown and Eli Brooks are all averaging nearly 9 points per game as well for the Wolverines.

Michigan’s size and length has allowed it a great advantage when it comes to rebounding and blocks.

Currently, Michigan has a +107 advantage in rebounds compared to opponents, which is nearly 10 per game. The Wolverines also have a 62-18 advantage in blocks compared to their opponents.

What’s coming up for Michigan Wolverines basketball

The only concern for Michigan fans right now should be if the team is peaking too early. Is it possible for the Wolverines to continue this level of play?

Up next for Michigan is a trip to Minnesota this Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wolverines just handed the Gophers an 82-57 thrashing a week ago.

Further down the line, Michigan still has road games at Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.

Two rivalry games with Michigan State are still to come as well, with the first in Ann Arbor on Feb. 6.

It won’t be until March 4 that Michigan will get a look at the Big Ten preseason favorite, Iowa, in a game at Crisler Center.

If you’re feeling strong about Michigan right now, don’t wait to place your bets. The more wins Michigan racks up in dominant fashion, the more those odds will drop.

Photo by AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of Playinmichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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