The Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, two of college football's storied programs with top-15 preseason rankings in tow, open with a bang on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Notre Dame is favored by 1.5 points as the line has bounced back and forth wildly in the last week. The Over-Under of total points expected by Vegas is 46.5. With so much uncertainty between two teams that appear evenly matched on paper, you'll to hear what veteran handicapper Micah Roberts has to say before making your own Notre Dame vs. Michigan picks.

Roberts has worked in the Las Vegas sportsbook industry for 20 years, including a 13-year run as Station Casinos' book director. Armed with an unmatched network of sources. He joined SportsLine in 2016 and immediately made an impact, going 70-44-3 in college football picks. He's also 5-1 picking for or against Michigan the last two seasons, so you'll want to see what he has to say.

Now, Roberts is all-in for the opening full weekend of college football, including Saturday's huge Michigan vs. Notre Dame prime-time showdown. He's also 5-1 picking for or against Michigan the last two seasons, so you'll want to see what he has to say.

Roberts knows Notre Dame's offense should be effective. They're led by dual-threat QB Brandon Wimbush, who last year threw for 1,870 yards and 16 TDs and ran for 803 more yards and 14 scores. Most of the leading talent around him from last year is gone, but will be replaced by the top reserves, all of whom are now seniors and juniors and have been groomed for this opportunity.

The defense improved dramatically in 2018 and is expected to take another step in that direction with nine returning starters. It allowed 27.8 ppg in 2016, but that number plummeted to just 21.5 in 2017. Leading tackler LB Te'von Coney (116 in 2017), leading interceptor CB Julian Love (3 INTs) and the top-four defensive linemen are all back to lead what should be one of the nation's premier units.

Roberts also knows that after going 10-3 two straight seasons, Michigan took a step back and went 8-5. But the expectations are back up for 2018. Michigan has 17 starters returning, as well as all eight receivers who caught at least eight passes and its top rushers in Karan Higdon (994 yards, 11 TDs) and Chris Evans (685, 6).

It doesn't include a QB, but coach Jim Harbaugh brought in Shea Patterson, a transfer from Ole Miss. He has thrown for 3,139 yards in 10 career starts and gives Harbaugh the QB he has been looking for since coming to Ann Arbor four years ago. On defense, five of the team's top six tacklers are back, led by second-team All-American LB Devin Bush (100 tackles).

We can tell you Roberts is leaning toward the under, but his strongest pick is against the spread, where he has uncovered a major x-factor you're not even thinking about that he knows will determine the outcome. You can only see it at SportsLine. 

So which side of the Michigan vs. Notre Dame spread do you need to back? And what major x-factor determines the outcome? Visit SportsLine now to see which side to jump on, all from the Vegas legend who is 5-1 picking Michigan games.