Orange Bowl Betting Odds And Analysis — Michigan Vs. Georgia

On Friday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., the No. 2-ranked Michigan Wolverines will face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs in a College Football Playoff semifinal. At stake is a spot in the national championship game against the winner of the Alabama-Cincinnati semifinal.

For Michigan, this is a chance to lift its football program to a new level and perhaps signal a new era for the Maize and Blue. This is the first time the Wolverines have been in the College Football Playoff, and for head coach Jim Harbaugh it serves as vindication of his plan to remake the U-M program and restore it to past glory.

The betting odds for this game (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) have shown Georgia as low as a 6-point favorite and as high as an 8-point favorite. Here are all the betting odds as of Wednesday morning.

Orange Bowl Betting Odds

DraftKings Georgia -7.5 (-105)
Michigan +7.5 (-115)
Georgia -290
Michigan +230
Over 45 (-115)
Under 45 (-105)
BetMGM Georgia -7.5 (-110)
Michigan +7.5 (-110)
Georgia -350
Michigan +275
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
Caesars Georgia -7.5 (-110)
Michigan +7.5 (-110)
Georgia -300
Michigan +240
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
FanDuel Georgia -7.5 (-110)
Michigan +7.5 (-110)
Georgia -290
Michigan +225
Over 45 (-115)
Under 45 (-105)

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Orange Bowl Analysis

In many ways, the Wolverines (12-1) and Bulldogs (12-1) are mirror images of each other. Both teams feature stifling defenses. Georgia is ranked No. 1 (allowing 9.5 points per game), and Michigan is No. 5 in the country at 16.1 PPG allowed.

On offense, both teams chew up the turf. Michigan averages 223.8 yards per game rushing (No. 10 in the country), and Georgia averages 194.8 yards rushing per game this season. These are two ball control offenses.

Stetson Bennett sounds like he should be a lounge singer, but the Georgia quarterback is actually the wild card in this national semifinal. Bennett’s play could be the determining factor in this matchup, as he has the ability to dial up a passing attack that Michigan’s QB rotation can’t match. Bennett averages over 10 yards per pass attempt, and he has only been intercepted seven times.

If Harbaugh is open to any criticism this season it’s for his stubborn adherence to a two-quarterback offense managed by Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy.

The Wolverines are a run-first team. They have two running backs (Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum) with more than 900 yards apiece on the ground this season. But can their talented offensive line and blocking schemes work against the Bulldogs, who often put nine defenders in the box to thwart a ground game?

When Alabama pounded the Bulldogs in the SEC title game, it exploited the fact that Georgia relies heavily on a defensive line and linebacking corps which can leave the deep middle and corners open for passing opportunities. But McNamara isn’t as talented as Bryce Young, and after weeks of preparation for their opponent, Georgia should know all the tricks Harbaugh likes to use on offense.

Also Read: Peach Bowl Betting Odds Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh

Michigan, Georgia Facts And Trends

  • Georgia has been the favorite in every game this year. The Dawgs are 7-5 against the spread (ATS).
  • Michigan is 3-11 as an underdog under Harbaugh, but 6-8 ATS in those games.
  • The Wolverines were 5-1 ATS in games that had a single-digit spread in 2021.
  • Georgia is 9-2 in bowl games against Big Ten schools.
  • The Bulldogs are 12-6 ATS in neutral-site games under head coach Kirby Smart
  • Michigan and Georgia have not played each other since 1965.

Orange Bowl Betting Pick

The Bulldogs have a chance to become the fifth college team since 2000 to finish a season allowing fewer than 10 points per game. The Wolverines have a defensive unit nearly equal in ferocity, but Michigan forces a few more turnovers.

On offense, the Bulldogs have a more dynamic QB, but the Wolverines have the superior run game. In 2021, the Bulldogs only had two games in which a running back topped 100 yards. Michigan should dominate the line of scrimmage on defense, and if DE Aidan Hutchinson can pressure Bennett, the Dawgs will have difficulty putting points on the board. Georgia has allowed 11 sacks this season, a number that will have to increase for the Wolverines to win the Orange Bowl.

Oddsmakers have the Bulldogs as the strong favorites, but that discounts the fact that Michigan played a slightly tougher schedule and had to prove itself against better competition.

BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings are all offering anywhere from +230 to +275 moneylines on Michigan, and that is great value.

On paper, Georgia should win this game, but it won’t be as easy as playing Vanderbilt or Charleston Southern. The Wolverines are bound to make this game close, and I look for defensive turnovers and special teams play to help Michigan stay close. In the end, Harbaugh will escape with a win and advance to the championship game.

Take the points and bet all day long on the Maize and Blue to cover.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.