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Michigan vs Georgia Orange Bowl Odds and Picks – CFP Semifinal Preview & Predictions

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Dec 29, 2021 · 6:07 AM PST

Jim Harbaugh looks around
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh walks on the sideline during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Harbaugh has been the most scrutinized coach in college football for seven seasons, defined by his failures despite a resume loaded with success. (AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)
  • Michigan and Georgia faceoff in the CFP Semifinal on Friday, December 31st
  • The Bulldogs are favored by over a touchdown at Hard Rock Stadium
  • Read below for Michigan vs Georgia odds, preview and picks for the Orange Bowl

No. 2 Michigan (12-1) makes its CFP debut when it faces No. 3 Georgia (12-1) in the CFP Semifinal on Friday, December 31st. Kickoff is 7:30 PM EST at the Orange Bowl. ESPN will carry the broadcast from Hard Rock Stadium.

The Bulldogs are listed as 7.5-point favorites over the Wolverines in the CFP Semifinal odds. The game total is set at 45 with oddsmakers projecting a low-scoring battle between two elite defensive teams.

Let’s take a look at the Michigan vs Georgia odds and offer you our CFP Semifinal predictions for the Orange Bowl.

Michigan vs Georgia CFP Semifinal Odds (Orange Bowl)

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Georgia Bulldogs -7.5 (-110) -290 O 45 (-115)
Michigan Wolverines +7.5  (-110) +225 U 45 (-105)

Odds as of December 29th at FanDuel

Bulldogs Aim to Bounce Back

Georgia will look to rebound from a disappointing performance in the SEC Championship game when they face Michigan in the Orange Bowl on Friday. The Bulldogs had an undefeated season ruined with a 41-24 defeat to the Crimson Tide in Atlanta. UGA was favored to win by almost a touchdown.

Georgia’s defense has received praise all year, but it got exposed by Alabama. Bryce Young and the Tide offense torched UGA for over 500 yards. Despite the poor performance, Georgia still leads the nation in scoring defense (9.5 points allowed) and ranks second in total defense (254 yards).

Stetson Bennett is expected to start at quarterback for Georgia in the Orange Bowl. The senior has thrown for 2,325 yards and 24 TDs with seven interceptions this season. UGA’s other quarterback, JT Daniels, tested positive for COVID-19 before Christmas. It’s unclear if he’ll be available against Michigan.

The Bulldogs are no strangers to playing in big games, as this will be their 25th consecutive bowl appearance. The Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in Bowl games since 2014, including covering the spread in both CFP games when they made the playoff in 2018.

Wolverines Thriving in Underdog Role

Michigan is listed as the underdog in the CFP Orange Bowl odds, which should be another motivator for them considering they’ve been underestimated all season. The Wolverines beat Ohio State 42-27 on Nov. 27 before dominating Iowa 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship game.

The Wolverines were +700 to win the Big Ten entering the season and went on to capture their first conference title since 2004. Jim Harbaugh’s group has been one of the most profitable CFB teams against the spread in 2021, covering the number in 11 of their 13 contests.

While Michigan’s defense isn’t as elite as UGA’s, it does feature the top defensive player in the country. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson finished as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy after setting a school-record with 14 sacks this season. The Wolverines are only allowing 16.1 points and 316 yards per game.

Offensively, Michigan ranks 12th in scoring offense at 37.7 points per game. QB Cade McNamara has thrown for 2,470 yards and 15 TDs with four interceptions, while RB Hassan Haskins has rushed for over 1,000 yards. UM’s other top rusher, Blake Corum, is fully recovered from injury entering the Orange Bowl.

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Michigan vs Georgia Pick & Prediction

The CFP Semifinal odds for the Orange Bowl tell us that one team is significantly better than the other. That’s hard to believe when you consider Michigan and Georgia sit neck-and-neck in Strength of Schedule rankings and have posted similar numbers on both sides of the ball.

The SEC may be College Football’s superior conference, but the Big 10 has been a gauntlet this season. Michigan was finally able to beat their arch-rival Ohio State, while Georgia lost for the seventh straight time to their SEC rival Alabama. UM is playing with maximum confidence entering the Orange Bowl.

Points will be hard to come by in the Orange Bowl, which means turnovers will play a key role. Michigan has forced 16 turnovers this season and face a UGA QB who threw two picks last time he took the field. Georgia is 1-3 ATS when they’ve lost the turnover battle this year.

This is an inflated College Football betting line, which places the value on the underdog. The Wolverines possess an elite defense and two strong running backs who can control the clock and keep the game close. Michigan ranks 19th nationally in time of possession.

McNamara is viewed as a game-manager, but he’s been more accurate than Bennett and thrived under pressure. Bennett, meanwhile, is yet to deliver in a big game and tends to throw picks when he tries to do too much. Trust Michigan’s elite defense to keep it within a TD at the Orange Bowl.

  • Pick: Michigan +7.5 (-110)
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