clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Did Jim Harbaugh’s Life Savings Just Make Michigan the 2016 Betting Favorite?

Getty Images
Getty Images

One of the surest signs that college football season is drawing near is the release of national title odds, which always make for quality debate fodder in the dog days of summer. While these odds usually hew to expectations, the Westgate SuperBook’s latest offerings contain a shocking revelation: “More money has been bet on Michigan to win the championship than on any other team at the SuperBook, and Jim Harbaugh’s squad has attracted 10 percent of all the national title bets at William Hill’s Nevada book.”

Although Harbaugh’s first season at Michigan was a success, with the Wolverines going 10–3 and blowing out Florida in the Citrus Bowl, the fact that they’ve attracted more money at 7–1 odds (Michigan opened at 15–1) than, say, defending champion Alabama at 5–1 odds seems downright crazy … until you consider the possibility that Harbaugh — who’s practically addicted to winning — may have bet his life savings on Michigan winning this season’s College Football Playoff. The evidence is overwhelming. Let’s run through some of the key points:

1. Harbaugh will do anything to make Michigan more attractive to recruits.

He’s climbed trees, wielded samurai swords, and channeled DJ Khaled. He’s attended class with recruits and spoken at their graduation ceremonies. Hell, he’s even slept over at their houses. Harbaugh will do whatever it takes to secure a commitment.

And what’s the strongest recruiting tool of all? That’s right: Winning. If you’ve yet to win a national championship, though, how do you compete with the likes of Nick Saban and Urban Meyer? By creating a false perception that your program is already dominant. And how do you accomplish this? Bingo: By manipulating the title odds in Vegas, thereby causing unsuspecting recruits to assume that your squad is destined for a title. Insidious stuff, really.

2. In a rap video released this week, Harbaugh asserted that “nobody” has it better than his Wolverines.

Harbaugh has long championed the “Who’s Got It Better Than Us?” mantra, proclaiming that nobody has it better than the football team he happens to be coaching at the time, whether that be Stanford, the San Francisco 49ers, or Michigan. But such a bold claim requires evidence, and that’s where Harbaugh’s heavy betting could come in: By making Michigan the most popular bet in Vegas, he’d effectively trick the general public into believing that the lyrics of “Who’s Got It Better Than Us?” will indisputably come true.

3. Harbaugh has a special connection to Las Vegas.

In June, Harbaugh hosted a satellite camp in Vegas, so we know he’s set foot in Sin City this summer. What you might not know, however, is that Harbaugh supposedly met his wife, Sarah, at a P.F. Chang’s in Vegas:

This allegedly occurred in 2006, and given that Harbaugh is a football coach, it probably took place in the summer. Of course, this means that the Harbaughs would have had a pretty good reason to travel to Vegas this offseason: to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their original meeting.

Where do you stay when you take a trip to Las Vegas? A casino. What can you do at a casino? Bet on your preferred college football team to win the national championship. Wake up, sheeple.

4. Harbaugh was in Nevada yesterday.

The smoking gun:

A flight from Reno to Las Vegas is just more than an hour, so after Wednesday’s presumably lit Reno Philharmonic Orchestra performance, the Harbaughs could have been in Sin City in practically no time. Less than 24 hours later, we find out that Michigan is the most popular bet in Vegas. Coincidence? I think not.