Georgia Bulldogs vs. Michigan Wolverines Prediction ATS 12/31/21

by | Dec 20, 2021 | cfb

Georgia Bulldogs (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Michigan Wolverines (12-1 SU, 11-2 ATS)

When: Friday, December 31, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: UGA -7.5/MICH +7.5 at MyBookie (Use bonus code PREDICT100 and they’ll give you a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300!

Total: O/U 44.5

Outlook

Semifinal No. 2 marks a chance for Georgia to prove it really belongs in this game, a strange statement to make after the Bulldogs dominated the regular season and emerged as one of just two teams to get through 12 games unscathed. But the Bulldogs didn’t have an impressive win all season long, and Alabama pounded Georgia’s historic defense for 41 points, more than the Dawgs gave up in any month all season.

On the other hand, Michigan comes in brimming with confidence and momentum after the Wolverines destroyed Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. The Wolverines finally got past their major hurdle in beating Ohio State and are riding a five-game winning streak that could have been 13 if they hadn’t let down in the second half against Michigan State in October. The Wolverines have moved the ball like nobody’s business, but they also haven’t seen a defense anywhere near the level of Georgia’s, which has given up an average of just 9.5 points per game through 13 contests.

How the Public is Betting the Georgia/Michigan Game

The public is backing the Wolverines in this one, as 65 percent of all tickets have come in on Michigan in this situation. The total has ticked up from 43 to 44.5 points, as the public seems to have lost faith in the Georgia defense.

Injury Concerns

Georgia:
Running back Kendall Milton (knee) is questionable. Linebacker Adam Anderson (suspended), wide receiver Arian Smith (leg), cornerback Jalen Kimber (shoulder), linebacker Rian Davis (quadriceps), defensive back Tykee Smith (knee), wide receiver Arik Gilbert (personal), and offensive lineman Tate Ratledge (foot) are out.

Michigan:
Wide receiver Ronnie Bell (knee) is out.

When Georgia Has the Ball

Georgia having to press against Alabama was not a pretty sight, as Stetson Bennett and this offense are built to protect leads, not overcome deficits. Once Georgia falls behind, the Bulldogs tend to become desperate to stick their noses in front and start to press the issue, and Bennett is not that kind of quarterback.

For Georgia to win this game, the Bulldogs must win the battle in the trenches, the thing they failed to do against Alabama. That’s not going to be an easy task against a Michigan defense that was built not only to succeed against Ohio State but also against Michigan State. The Spartans were able to win the battle that day against Michigan’s run defense because of how talented Kenneth Walker is, but there are not many backs like Walker. Zamir White is a good runner but is not in Walker’s class as a tailback, which makes this an interesting matchup to watch. To get another shot at the national title game, Georgia must win the battle in the trenches and, above all, not turn the football over.

When Michigan Has the Ball

The Wolverines have the wrong kind of team to follow Alabama’s blueprint for beating Georgia. The Bulldogs lost because they couldn’t stop Bryce Young and the passing game for the Crimson Tide, which is second to none when it gets rolling. But Cade McNamara isn’t that threatening of a passer, and the Dawgs don’t have to worry about him taking off on the ground. Instead, Michigan’s strength is in its dominant ground combo of Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, which is not the way you want to attack Georgia.

Alabama won because it recognized that running the ball wasn’t going to work and barely did it, scratching out just 55 yards on 16 carries from Brian Robinson. But Michigan’s offense is built around its backs, and its line is in for its toughest test of the season. Wisconsin statistically has a better run defense, and Michigan won that game 38-17, but the Badgers lost their quarterback to an injury and blew the game with three turnovers. Unless Georgia beats itself in this contest — entirely possible — Michigan is going to have to pass in order to keep its season alive.

More Picks: Bearcats vs. Crimson Tide Betting CFP Predictions 12/31/21

Betting Trends

For the past few years, there have been two bets to never take with Michigan: the Wolverines against Ohio State and the Wolverines in a bowl game. Michigan already ended one streak, but the Wolverines are 0-4 ATS in their past four bowls and have historically struggled to rebound from facing Ohio State. This time, the Wolverines come in off a win in the Big Ten title game, so that trend might not be operating any longer.
Georgia has covered in six of eight bowl games, but something has to give on the totals. The under is 6-1 in the Dawgs’ past seven bowls as a favorite, while Michigan has gone over in eight of nine against the SEC.

Weather Report

It’s a little early to tell what the wind will be like, but early forecasts say that it will be difficult to pass, with wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour possible and a sustained wind of 20 miles per hour going north-northeast. Temperatures will sit at 76 degrees.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

With the makeup of the teams, I really don’t like Michigan’s chances in this game. The Wolverines are not built to beat a strong run defense like Georgia’s unless their opponent self-destructs. It happened to Wisconsin, but I think Georgia is made of stronger stuff.

I expect a low-scoring outcome, with this game ending somewhere around 24-10 for the Dawgs. I’m backing Georgia. Want more bonus dollars? Here’s our best! “Deposit $100 to $1000 and receive a MASSIVE 100% REAL CASH bonus at Betnow Sportsbook!

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