Michigan flies high into its College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia at the Orange Bowl. The Wolverines are sizable underdogs in the college football odds despite winning the Big Ten Conference title. The Bulldogs try to recover after losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
- Game: Georgia Bulldogs (12-1) vs. Michigan Wolverines (12-1)
- Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
- Day/Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Betting Lines Georgia vs Michigan
|Georgia||-7½ (-110)||-300||45 (-110o)|
|Michigan||+7½ (-110)||+250||45 (-110u)|
Bulldogs Mentality Must Include Short Memory
Georgia rode a 16-game win streak into its clash with Alabama for the SEC title, but was put in its place with a 41-24 loss. The Bulldogs led 10-0 as a six-point favorite when betting online before the Crimson Tide went on a 38-7 run to take control.
The total of 48½ was exceeded when Alabama made it 38-17 with 11 minutes, and 59 seconds remaining. Georgia opened its season with a 10-3 triumph over Clemson before winning its next 11 by an average of 36.2 points. The Bulldogs won their only national championship in 1980. Georgia reached the CFP national championship game in the 2017 season, losing to Alabama 26-23 in overtime.
Players to Watch
Senior quarterback Stetson Bennett passed for 2,325 yards and 24 touchdowns but threw two of his seven interceptions against Alabama. Tight end Brock Bowers was the SEC Freshman of the Year after recording 47 receptions for 791 yards and 11 touchdowns. Senior defensive linemen Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt joined Bowers on the SEC first team, as did junior linebacker Nakobe Dean.
Junior quarterback JT Daniels tested positive for COVID-19. Freshman wide receiver Ladd McConkey (undisclosed) is probable. McConkey has five touchdown catches. Junior wide receiver George Pickins will play his third game after missing the first 10 because of a torn ACL. Pickins, who is expected to be a second-round pick in the NFL Draft, had two catches for 41 yards against Alabama.
Here’s what we know about JT Daniels, Covid-19 protocol and the chances of a return before the Michigan game: https://t.co/Yce0VwjEOP pic.twitter.com/SqQx2QgXZW
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) December 22, 2021
Wolverines Peaking at Right Time
Michigan validated an emphatic victory over Ohio State with a 42-3 thumping of Iowa in the Big Ten title game. The Wolverines easily covered as 11½-point favorites.
Over players rejoiced when freshman running Donovan Edwards scored on a 1-yard run with 1:25 to play, eclipsing the 43½ total. Michigan’s season appeared to be doomed after a 37-33 loss to rival Michigan State, but five wins later, the team is batting for their first national title since sharing one with Nebraska in 1997. The Wolverines are 3-1 in one-score games.
Players to Watch
Senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, a Heisman Trophy finalist, was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference with 14 sacks – third-most nationally. Junior linebacker David Ojabo and senior running back Hassan Haskins joined Hutchinson on the Big Ten first team. Haskins rushed for 1,288 yards and his 20 touchdowns are tied for third in the country.
There are no major injuries to report pertaining to this game.
Betting on the Game
Georgia has alternated losses and wins against the college football spreads over its last eight games, going 8-5 ATS in 2021. Michigan is a sparkling 11-2 ATS after winning its last five. The past three Wolverines games have gone over, as have three of the last four Bulldogs contests.
The key to Georgia’s success could be stopping Haskins and forcing junior quarterback Cade McNamara to make tough throws. Michigan, meanwhile, must make life difficult for the Bulldogs’ offense, with Hutchinson leading the defense.
There is little doubt that Michigan is in a better mood despite what the Las Vegas odds indicate, and is a live long shot to advance to the national title game with a high-scoring victory. Michigan is +800 to reach 25 points first.