The Free Analysis page Leans were 6-5 in Week 13 (1-5 on Friday and 5-0 on Saturday) and are now 80-66-2 for the season after going 169-116-4 last 2 seasons. The sides with a 4 points or more differential from the line (i.e. the Leans) were 4-5 and the totals Leans were 2-0 (I counted the Temple Team Total Over Loss as a side since the total difference in my total prediction from the line was 9 points and the game did go over) and are 24-17 this season after going 29-8-1 last season.


The record of all Free Analysis sides was 16-32-1 ATS in week 13 and the totals were 36-16.


The record on all Free Analysis sides is now 2879-2690-100 ATS since 2013, which is very good picking nearly every game over 10-plus years. The Free Analysis sides in which my predicted margin was 4 points or more away from the line (i.e Leans) are a profitable 884-743-32. Totals on the Free pages are now 2673-2537-55 in the 9-plus seasons I’ve been tracking them. Starting in 2022 I choose selected Leans on totals and those are now 53-25-1.


The spreads posted are the consensus lines at the time I posted each analysis.

College Football Rotation

Washington vs

Mon, Jan 8 4:30 PM PT

Rotation: 287, Odds: Michigan -5, Total: 56

Game Analysis view matchup stats

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Lean – Washington (+4.5) over Michigan

Washington’s offense started the season on a record-breaking pace, averaging 9.3 yards per play in the first 4 games of the season with QB Michael Penix in the game (against teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average offense). Washington’s offense cooled down when WR Jalen McMillan got injured but the Huskies scored 71 points in their last two games against elite defensive teams Oregon and Texas with McMillan fully healthy again. McMillan tried to get back into the offense a couple of times in the middle of the season and came back a bit early for the Apple Cup game against rival Washington State (just 5 catches for 26 yards, mostly on screen passes). He’s looked fully healthy in the Huskies’ last two games with 14 catches on 19 targets for 189 yards. Having McMillan available gives quarterback Michael Penix 3 elite receivers to throw to along with star Rome Odunze (1553 yards at 11.9 yards per target) and Ja’Lynn Polk (1122 yards at 10.8 YPT). Jermie Bernard is a very good 4th receiver, as he’s caught 34 or 42 passes targeted at him for 10.0 YPT and Giles Jackson (only 5.3 YPT on 20 targets while McMillan was out) no longer plays. Having their full arsenal of wide receivers available makes it nearly impossible for an opposing defense to cover them all and Penix will make defenses pay for doubling Odunze with other explosive options in single coverage. Penix has averaged 8.9 yards per pass play for the season, against teams that would allow 5.8 yppp to an average quarterback (+3.1 yppp), but he’s been 3.8 yppp better than average in 6 games with McMillan (9.9 yppp against teams that would allow 6.1 yppp).

Michigan has yielded only 10.1 points per game on 4.1 yppl (not including garbage time when backups were in) to teams that would combine to average 5.5 yppl against an average defensive unit. That unit registered 6 sacks against Alabama last week, but sacking Jalen Milroe is not that difficult, as he was sacked 44 times in the 13 games he played. It’s going to be markedly different in this game, as Washington was awarded the Joe Moore Award for the nation’s best offensive line and should neutralize the Wolverines’ pass rush. Penix has been sacked just 10 times in 14 games (no more than 2 in any game) and his accuracy, especially in a dome, is very impressive (he easily led the nation is completion percentage on deep passes). If you watched the game against Texas you might have noticed a number of perfectly thrown balls down the field to receivers that were really well covered. It almost doesn’t matter how good a pass defense is, as Penix can still connect with receivers that aren’t open. That makes Washington’s offense relatively better against better defensive teams and Michigan can be beaten by a group of good receivers if their pass rush isn’t getting to the quarterback. The Wolverines gave up 8.7 yards per pass play to Ohio State and their elite group of receivers while registering just 1 sack. That game was the only game they played against a team with an elite group of receivers and an offensive line that can protect the quarterback (Ohio State allows just 5.2% sacks, which is good, but not as good as Penix’s 1.9% sack rate). The math, using the 6 games with McMillan and adjusting for playing in a dome, projects Washington to average 6.6 yards per play – although just 366 total yards because Michigan figures to control the ball and limit the Huskies’ possessions.

Michigan has averaged 37.0 points per game and 6.4 yppl (with QB McCarthy in the game) against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average attack. However, the average points scored was inflated by 5 defensive touchdowns (and an OT touchdown last week) and Washington’s defense (0.9 yppl better than average) is nearly as good as the Michigan offense was this season. I expect Michigan to stick with their run-first approach against a Washington defensive front that is just 0.4 yards per rushing play better than average, which is the same as the average rating of run defenses of all teams that the Wolverines faced this season. I heard mention, more than few times, about how poorly Washington ranked in pass defense, but those rankings are based on pass yards allowed and the Huskies not only faced 40.2 pass attempts per game, but they also faced a schedule of mostly very good passing teams. The reality is that Washington’s pass defense is very good, as they’ve yielded just 6.0 yppp this season to quarterbacks that would combine to average 7.5 yppp against an average defensive team. Holding Bo Nix (#2 in the nation in compensated YPPP at +3.5 yppp) and Quinn Ewers (2.1 yppp better than average) to a combined 6.9 yppp in their last two games is very impressive. JJ McCarthy doesn’t throw often but he’s very good when he does throw (+2.2 yppp). Michigan’s top two running backs, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, have combined for just 4.3 yards per rush this season, which is not good considering that they’ve faced teams that would allow 4.7 yards per rushing play to an average FBS team. Washington, while not great against the run, probably won’t be hurt too much by the Michigan run game. The Wolverines would be wise to throw the ball more than they do, even against a very good Washington pass defense, but I doubt that they will given that the Huskies aren’t as good defending the run as they are defending the pass. I project 397 yards at 6.0 yppl for Michigan.

Overall, the math favors Michigan by just 1.5 points with a total of 55.5 points, and Washington is now 5-0 straight up as an underdog under coach Kalen DeBoer with two of those being as dogs of 9.5 and 12.5 points. DeBoer is 10-1 ATS in his career as a head coach (previously at Fresno State) when not laying 3 points or more, so he’s always had his teams play their best against other good teams. I’ll Lean with Washington plus the points.