East Carolina vs Michigan Prediction - College Football Picks 9/2/23

Michigan Wolverines (0-0) vs East Carolina Pirates (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 12:00 pm (Michigan Stadium)

Betting Odds: Michigan Wolverines -36 -- Over/Under: 51.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The East Carolina Pirates will play the Michigan Wolverines in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan will look to return to the CFP again this year after they played their worst game of the season against TCU in last year’s semifinals. East Carolina had some success last season that ended with a bowl win and they will look to repeat that result this year. 

East Carolina Preview

The East Carolina Pirates were 8-5 last season and they went 4-4 in the AAC. East Carolina started the season with a heartbreaking one point loss to NC State and they added losses to Navy (2OT), Tulane, Cincinnati, and Houston. The Pirates defeated Coastal Carolina by a score of 53-29 in the Birmingham Bowl. The Pirates lost a ton of production from last year, so this season could be a roller coaster. East Carolina lost their starting quarterback from last year, Holton Ahlers, who was the heart and soul of the team. The Pirates will most likely go with Mason Garcia under center, but he doesn’t have much experience. The wide receiver production and running back production is mostly gone, but the Pirates were able to get a few transfers. On the defensive side, East Carolina struggled at times last season and allowed quite a few points in their last five games. East Carolina might be in decent shape once they get into conference play, but they are most likely walking into a blowout loss here. 

Michigan Preview

The Michigan Wolverines were 13-1 last season and they went 10-0 in the Big Ten. Michigan went undefeated in the regular season, defeated Ohio State on the road, and won the Big Ten Championship, but they played horribly in the CFP semifinals against TCU. Despite playing poorly, Michigan had multiple chances to win before losing 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl. Michigan has been very good in each of the last two years and will look to make it three straight CFP appearances. The Wolverines return JJ McCarthy at quarterback, who threw for 2,719 yards, 22 touchdowns, and five picks last year. Michigan also returns their top two running backs, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, which could be the best running back duo in the country. This Michigan team might be Harbaugh’s best and on top of a very good offense, the defense should be just as good as last year. 

Michigan Wolverines Team Facts

  • Michigan has won each of its last 22 home games in September.
  • Michigan has covered the spread in each of its last three season openers.
  • Michigan has won the first quarter in eight of its last nine games against non-conference opponents at Michigan Stadium.
  • Michigan has won the first half in each of its last seven games against non-conference opponents at Michigan Stadium.
  • Each of Michigan's last four games against non-AP-ranked teams at Michigan Stadium have gone UNDER the total points line.

East Carolina Pirates Team Facts

  • East Carolina has lost each of its last six season openers.
  • East Carolina has covered the spread in six of its last seven games against non-conference opponents.
  • Five of East Carolina's last six season openers have gone UNDER the total points line.

Matchup/League Facts

  • Michigan ranked 1st among FBS teams for Q4 win percentage last season (.929).
  • Michigan ranked 2nd among FBS teams for Q3 win percentage last season (.786).
  • East Carolina ranked T27th among FBS teams for Q4 points allowed per game last season (5.3).
  • East Carolina ranked T28th among FBS teams for Q2 points per game last season (10.2).


Michigan comes into this one as a huge favorite to win and for good reason. The Wolverines offense should be one of the best in the country, but they will also chew up a ton of clock as they like to pound the ball against easier opponents. Michigan did win their three non-conference games by scores of 51-7, 56-10, and 59-0 last year and it could take some time for this ECU team to get going this year. This number is so big, but I am counting on the Wolverines to start this season, like they did last year, with a blowout win. 

David’s Pick Michigan -36

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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