ECU vs. Michigan Prediction: Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    The ECU Pirates travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan with a showdown against top five ranked Michigan Wolverines. Here's our prediction along with a betting and DFS preview.

    The Michigan Wolverines look to start their 2023 campaign in a big way at home against the East Carolina Pirates. Michigan was one game away from a national championship appearance last season, losing to TCU in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs. ECU is coming off its best season under fifth-year head coach Mike Houston after an 8-5 record and a bowl game win against Coastal Carolina.

    ECU vs. Michigan Betting and DFS Preview

    • Spread
      Michigan -36, ECU +36
    • Moneyline
    • Over/Under
      51.5 points
    • Game time
      12:00 p.m. EST
    • Location
      Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      82 degrees, partly sunny, winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph
    • How to Watch
      FuboTV, Peacock

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    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

    All values below come from FanDuel’s multi-team entries for the weekend. Looking to sign up for FanDuel? New customers bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets guaranteed.  Click here for more details

    Looking for each team’s depth chart? Click the appropriate link to view.
    ECU Depth Chart | Michigan Depth Chart

    • QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
    • QB Mason Garcia, ECU
    • RB Blake Corum, Michigan
    • RB Donovan Edwards, Michigan
    • RB Rahjai Harris, ECU
    • WR Cornelius Johnson, Michigan
    • WR Roman Wilson, Michigan
    • WR Jaylen Johnson, ECU
    • WR Jsi Hartfield, ECU
    • TE Colston Loveland
    • TE Shane Calhoun

    Pick your poison with Michigan’s offense, as they have so many weapons, and the strength of this team is their running game. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy was efficient with the ball and rarely turned the ball over, which was what made the decision at quarterback last season so easy. McCarthy won’t put up godly numbers passing, but he can help open up the running game with his mobility.

    Blake Corum is arguably the best running back in the country. He ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for Michigan. While ECU had the 18th-ranked rush defense last season, they haven’t faced a running back like Corum or an offensive line as dominant as the Wolverines are. If there is an easy start on fantasy in week one, Corum might be the easiest to pick.

    Fantasy fans can place their money on Michigan’s two receivers, Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson. ECU had one of the worst pass defenses in the country last season, ranking 128th and surrendering 291.8 passing yards per game. McCarthy is smart with the football, so both receivers should have nice numbers to put up. While Corum is a sure move, Johnson and Wilson are safe picks as well.

    The Wolverines had a top-ten defense last season and are seeing seven starters return from that unit this season. Fantasy fans shouldn’t trust many players on ECU’s offense outside of potentially running back Rahjai Harris, who should be the leading back for the Pirates this season.

    A knee injury kept him out of half the season, but he can make plays on the ground. Harris has a chance for a nice game, but he would be the only Pirate to take a risk on.

    Prediction for ECU vs. Michigan

    This is a typical beginning of the season game where the competition level between the two teams is not equal. It’s an unfortunate statement because the Pirates have made major strides with coach Houston the last four seasons, but Michigan is a juggernaut. The Wolverines are expected to be in the playoff conversation, while the Pirates are projecting a seven- or eight-win season in the AAC.

    Fifteen total starters are back for Michigan, and they have a ton of NFL talent playing on the roster. The most interesting storyline in this game is Wolverines head coach John Harbaugh starting the first of his three-game suspension imposed by the school. Coach Harbaugh will be rotating his coaching staff to run the team to give them a chance to earn some experience, so it’ll be interesting to see if that kind of change will affect their performance.

    East Carolina is in for a nice season, as they have the makings of a winning team. Their level of competition in the AAC is getting weaker, so if they can stay somewhat competitive against Michigan, that would be a momentum booster for the team. The harsh reality is they are outmanned and outmatched by one of the best teams in the country.

    We shouldn’t ignore that this is a risky sentiment as Wolverine fans have been burned before by the beginning of the season upsets thanks to Appalachian State. It’s very doubtful that kind of event will happen in Ann Arbor in week one, but never say never. Michigan goes in as a heavy favorite, and it should end up that way as a statement game to start the year.

    Michigan 52, ECU 10

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