The #3 Georgia Bulldogs (12-1) and #2 Michigan Wolverines (12-1) clash in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs at the Capital One Orange Bowl. The winner advances to the national title game to take on either the Cincinnati Bearcats or Alabama Crimson Tide. Michigan is making its first appearance in the CFP, and this will be Georgia’s second.
Friday’s kickoff follows the first semifinal matchup and has a scheduled start time of 7:30 p.m. EST at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. Georgia is a 7.5-point favorite, and the over-under total is at 45.5 points.
What to Know – Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia looked like the top team in the country throughout the regular season before the Crimson Tide throttled the Bulldogs 41-24 in the SEC title game. The Bulldogs feature a suffocation defense that they’ll need to lean on if they want to advance to the title for the second time in four years.
The Bulldogs’ offense averaged 39.4 points per game and 442.8 yards of offense. Georgia’s defense was a top unit in the nation, surrendering 9.5 yards and 253.9 yards of offense to opposing teams.
Stetson Bennett took over the reins under center once JT Daniels was sidelined with an injury. Bennett tossed 24 touchdown passes, completing 64.1% of his passes.
Freshman tight end Brock Bowers emerged as Bennett’s favorite target, hauling in 47 passes for 791 yards and 11 touchdowns. Zamir White led the Bulldogs’ backfield with 718 yards on the ground and ten touchdowns.
Georgia was 8-5 against the spread during the season, and 6-2 ATS over their last eight contests played in December. The total has gone under in six of Georgia’s last nine games.
What to Know – Michigan Wolverines
It took head coach Jim Harbaugh longer than expected, but he has the Wolverines playing sound football and in the CFP for the first time in school history.
The Wolverines’ only loss came on a controversial ending to in-state rival Michigan State midway through the year. Michigan ended the season with a pair of blowout victories over Ohio State (42-27) and Iowa (42-3).
Michigan offense scores 37.7 points averaging 451.9 yards of total offense per game. The Wolverines’ defense held teams to 16.1 points, best in the Big Ten, and 316.2 yards of offense.
Cade McNamara engineered the Wolverines’ offense, finishing the regular season with 2,470 yards passing and 15 touchdowns. The two-headed rushing attack of Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum combined for 2,227 yards on the ground and 31 scores. Cornelius Johnson is the team’s leading wideout, tallying 609 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Michigan went 11-2 ATS in regular season play and 5-0 ATS over their last five contest. The total has gone over in 12 of Michigan’s last 15 games versus SEC opponents.
The Pick is In
The second semifinal game of the day might turn out to be the most entertaining. Two top defenses against a pair of efficient offenses go head-to-head in South Florida.
Georgia has the talent, and Michigan has the coaching. We’ll gladly take the points in what should be a low-scoring slugfest.
Betting Pick: Michigan Wolverines +7.5