Michigan National Championship Odds Movement After Jim Harbaugh Leaves for Chargers

The defending champion Wolverines remain a top contender.

Dec. 4, 2021: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh raises the trophy after the Wolverines' 42-3 win over Iowa
Dec. 4, 2021: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh raises the trophy after the Wolverines' 42-3 win over Iowa / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

After leading Michigan to its first national championship since 1997 this past season, coach Jim Harbaugh decided to leave his alma mater on a high note and accept the job as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers as he tries to win the Super Bowl that eluded him when he was coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

One might assume, justifiably, Harbaugh's exit spells doom for the Wolverines' national championship odds in 2024. But one sportsbook doesn't see it that way, holding Michigan's odds to win the natty mostly steady with where they were before the news broke.

BetMGM set Michigan's national championship odds at +800 before Harbaugh left Michigan. After it? They only moved to +900.

Michigan is now level with Texas in the national championship odds standings and trails only Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama.

That's somewhat surprising considering the Wolverines just lost their coach and also saw starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy and starting running back Blake Corum declare for the NFL Draft. They also could face sanctions from the NCAA over an investigation into cheating allegations levied at Harbaugh and his coaching staff over sign stealing. But college football is now as much as ever a haves and have-nots game, and Michigan still has talent on its roster -- and possibly its next head coach.

There's already speculation Michigan will replace Harbaugh with current offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore. Moore stepped into the interim head coach role while Harbaugh was serving a Big Ten-levied suspension this year over the aforementioned cheating allegations and led Michigan to a 4-0 record including wins over Ohio State and Penn State.

That familiarity with the players and the gravitas Moore built as interim head coach will certainly help stabilize the program (if he's hired). But winning back-to-back national titles is extremely hard in college football and will become even harder next year when the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams.

Save your money and wait to see how things play out before betting on Michigan, espeically at these odds.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.