By: Will Burchfield

With the 2018 College Football Playoff in the rearview, Las Vegas has turned its attention to 2019.

And despite a tumultuous season locally, not much has changed in the eyes of the oddsmakers.

According to the betting website Bovada, Michigan has the fifth best odds to win the national championship next season, checking in at 9/1. Michigan State has the 13th best odds at 25/1.

This comes after a season in which the Wolverines stumbled to an 8-5 record, while the Spartans surprised a host of critics by going 10-3. Michigan State also won the head-to-head matchup, but Vegas still has more faith in Michigan moving forward.

It bears mention that Michigan’s odds tend to be inflated by the number of fans that bet on them.

Both teams will return the majority of their starters next season. The Spartans are set at quarterback with rising junior Brian Lewerke, who threw for 20 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards this year. The Wolverines look ready to turn things over to Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson, assuming he’ll be eligible.

Defense will be a strength for both squads.

In terms of their respective recruiting classes, Michigan ranks 14th and Michigan State ranks 25th, according to 247 Sports. Last year, Michigan ranked 5th and Michigan State ranked 36th — so take it all with a grain of salt.

The Wolverines have a daunting schedule in 2018. They open the season at Notre Dame and have road dates with Michigan State and Ohio State. They also host Wisconsin and Penn State.

Notable games for the Spartans include at Arizona State and at Penn State. They host Ohio State.

Though Michigan’s championship odds are higher, the early polls agree that Michigan State is the better team. CBS Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated all rank the Spartans above the Wolverines. CBS Sports has Michigan State as high as No. 5; Sports Illustrated has Michigan as low as No. 23.

The two sides will resume their rivalry Oct. 20 at Spartan Stadium. It promises to be a good one, especially on the heels of a tiff between Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio.


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