The 2021 Orange Bowl has arrived, and this year, it is a playoff game between the #3 Georgia Bulldogs and the #2 Michigan Wolverines.
BetMGM’s latest NCAAF odds have Georgia as 7.5 point favorites. Will they cover the spread?
Here are some things that I think you should watch for in the Orange Bowl.
Capital One Orange Bowl Game Information
Before we get into some of my picks, here is some game information you need to know about this bowl:
- Date: Friday, Dec. 31st
- Time: 7:30 P.M. EST
- Venue: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL
- Participants: Georgia and Michigan
One bet I like this week is for the Wolverines to cover the spread. The main reason is that Georgia has not faced many defenses this season as good as the Wolverines.
Georgia allows the fewest points per game in the country (9.5), but Michigan is right behind them in fourth (16.1).
This season, Georgia has faced two other defenses ranked in the top 20 in this category. They only scored ten points back on Sept. 4th against Clemson (second), but J.T. Daniels was the starting quarterback then. The Bulldogs scored just 24 points in the SEC Championship against Alabama (18th), which is notable since Georgia averages over 39 points per game.
As for Michigan, they’ve faced excellent defenses this season as well, but with much better results. In the two games they played against top ten scoring defenses, they went 2-0 and scored 38 points on Oct. 2nd at Wisconsin.
Also, while Georgia has a talented defense, they do not have a great turnover margin. They have a zero differential, while Michigan has a +5.
I think the Wolverines have what it takes to keep up with Georgia and will keep this game close.
This total is tough to handicap because both teams have so much talent. They both have top-five scoring defenses, and both offenses average over 37 points per game.
However, I think the defensive talent here is too much to ignore. Georgia’s offense averages over 39 points per game this season, but when they have to face a top 20 scoring defense, that average goes down to just 17 points per game.
I expect similar results in this game, as Georgia’s offense has struggled against elite defenses. Michigan has one of the best pass rushes in the country. Aidan Hutchinson, who finished second in Heisman voting, has 14 sacks 69 quarterback pressures. Michigan also has David Ojabo, with 11 sacks and 40 pressures.
On top of this, Michigan is one of the better teams at controlling the clock. They rank 18th in the country in time of possession, averaging about 31 minutes per game.
This, combined with the fact that Georgia has the top red-zone defense in the country (60.87%), makes me believe we could see some long Michigan possessions result in field goals or less.
Considering the defensive talent on both sides of the field, I see this game going under.
Who Wins the Capital One Orange Bowl?
I am taking Michigan to cover the Orange Bowl, but it would not surprise me if they won outright. For those willing to get a little riskier, their current money line is +260.
Do you agree with my picks? You can make your own for this game and all the other bowls this season here at BetMGM, the best Michigan sports betting site for all your betting needs. Create an account today and receive a risk-free initial bet worth up to $1,000.
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