Our 2020 Citrus Bowl pick offers Alabama at -7.0. Plus, this Citrus Bowl prediction has the over/under at 58.0. This game is the first of four bowl games being played on January 1. In those four games, all eight teams are nationally ranked. The Vrbo Citrus Bowl, featuring the #14 Michigan Wolverines against the #13 Alabama Crimson Tide, will be held at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida at 1 pm ET. The other contest kicking off at 1 pm ET is the Outback Bowl with the #18 Minnesota Golden Gophers and #12 Auburn Tigers.
In the Big Ten, the Michigan Wolverines (9-3) went 6-3. That record earned the Wolverines third place in the East Division. The 7-2 Penn State Nittany Lions were second in the division and the 8-0 Ohio State Buckeyes finished first. The Alabama Crimson Tide (10-2) were are 6-2 in the SEC West. With an 8-0 SEC record, the LSU Tigers took first is the West.
2020 Citrus Bowl Pick – Regular Season
Our 2020 Citrus Bowl pick notes that Michigan went 5-1 in the first half of the season. After winning their first two games, the Wolverines met #13 Wisconsin. The Badgers beat the Wolverines 35-14. Two games later, Michigan took down #14 Iowa 10-3. In second half of the season, the team went 4-2. They scored big wins over #8 Notre Dame and Michigan State. But, #7 Penn State and #1 Ohio State took down the Wolverines. In the last week of the season, OSU beat Michigan 56-27.
In the SEC, the Alabama Crimson Tide had a very easy schedule. They played three top 25 teams, beating #24 Texas A&M 47-28. The Tide had two more tough games ahead of them, and they lost both. First #2 LSU beat Alabama 46-41. Then, in the final game of the season, the #15 Auburn Tigers earned a 48-45 win over Alabama. Consequently, with those two losses, the Tide lost any chance they had of going to the CFP.
Michigan Wolverines vs Alabama Crimson Tide – Stats
On offense, the Michigan Wolverines averaged 33.0 PPG, while the Alabama Crimson Tide earned 48.3 PPG. Michigan generated 252.3 passing YPG and 149.8 rushing YPG. Total offensive yards came to 402.1 PG. Alabama put up 513.3 offensive YPG. They were good for 169.8 ground YPG and 343.5 air YPG.
Both teams have tight, tough defenses. As a result, Michigan is giving up 19.5 PPG. Alabama is allowing opponents 18.8 PPG. Total defensive yards allowed are 292.8 by the Wolverines and 318.5 by the Crimson Tide. Michigan is allowing 119.1 ground YPG while Alabama is permitting 135.1 rushing YPG. Defensive passing yards come to 173.8 YPG for Michigan and 183.4 YPG for Bama.
Michigan at Alabama – Players
The Wolverines have a productive offense that can pass and rush. At the same time, this team ably handles its defensive chores.
QB Shea Patterson has passed for 22 TDs while posting six interceptions. Patterson has been sacked 22 times. Our 2020 Citrus Bowl pick notes that he’s passed for 2,828 yards while completing 57.3% of his passes. WR Nico Collins has caught seven TD passes and Donovan Peoples-Jones six. Each has 33 catches on the season. RB Zach Charbonnet has had a great first season, rushing for 642 yards and 11 TDs.
On defense, the Wolverines have recorded 37 sacks, nine INTs, and 40 PD. DL Kwity Paye has posted 6.5 sacks and LB Josh Uche has earned 8.5 QB bring downs. DBs John Metellus (2 INTs, 5 PD, Ambry Thomas (3 INTs, 3 PD, and Lavert Hill (3 INTs, 9 PD) are top defenders.
Alabama Crimson Tide
QB Tua Tagovailoa is out due to a season-ending injury. QB Mac Jones, who’s passed for 1,176 yards, 11 TDs, and three picks, will play. Five players with a minimum of a half-dozen TD catches each occupy the receiving unit. De’Vonta Smith comes to this contest with 65 receptions, 1,200 yards, and 13 scoring receptions. RB Najee Harris has 185 carries for 1,088 yards, and 11 TD rushes.
On defense, top linebacker Terrell Lewis and safety Trevon Diggs are both forgoing this bowl game. However, the Tide still has a lot of solid players on this side of the ball. The team comes to this contest with 14 FF, 12 recovered fumbles, 15 INTs, 45 PD, and 29 sacks. DB Xavier McKinney has recorded three picks, five PD, and four FF, while DB Jared Mayden has posted four picks and three PD. LB Anfernee Jennings, a senior, has 7.5 sacks, one INT, and five PD.
Five Keys to the Game
Our 2020 Citrus Bowl pick sees the flowing keys to this contest:
- Missing players on Alabama D may help Michigan score a few more points.
- Michigan defense has its work cut out for it.
- Alabama, despite missing Tua and two D, are still favored
- Crimson Tide defense will likely score a TD
- Tide has the gas to win this game going away
Our 2020 Citrus Bowl Pick
In conclusion, we think that Michigan will make a game of it, but, also, we find that Bama has enough quality to beat the spread. Thus, our 2020 Citrus Bowl pick is the Alabama Crimson Tide at -7.0. Plus, we are going with the over at 58.0.