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Fiesta Bowl – TCU vs Michigan Predictions

The TCU Horned Frogs crashed the College Football Playoff party now they’re looking for more when they take on the Michigan Wolverines in the Fiesta Bowl CFP semifinal. The Frogs’ perfect season came to an end in the Big 12 title game loss to Kansas State, but having them among the final four is still shocking. Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan directs a dynamic offense against one of the best defensive units in college football. The Wolverines completed their season with convincing wins over Ohio State and Purdue in the Big Ten championship to end the regular season 13-0.

The Fiesta Bowl CFP semifinal between the TCU Horned Frogs and Michigan Wolverines will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 31, 2022 and will be televised on ESPN.

Fiesta Bowl – TCU vs Michigan Odds

TCU Horned Frogs +7.5

Michigan Wolverines -7.5

Over/Under 58.5

Odds Analysis

The Wolverines hit the board as a 9-point favorite with early action on TCU moving the line to Michigan -7.5. The Frogs were a 1-point dog against K-State failing to cover in the 31-28 overtime loss. TCU dropped to 2-1 SU and ATS when catching points. Prior to having a single payout in the last three games, TCU went 8-1-1 ATS in the first 10 giving them the fifth-best cover percentage in the FBS for the season. The last two games for Michigan were extreme. The Wolverines beat Ohio State 45-23 playing as an underdog for the only time catching 9-points in the de facto Big Ten title game. In the real game UM beat Purdue by nearly the same score only this time laying 16-points. Also a good bet during the season the Wolverines went 8-4-1 ATS.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU hadn’t even been to a bowl game the previous three seasons so what they accomplished under first-year coach Sonny Dykes was remarkable. Known as a coach with a gift for offense, Dykes turned the program around with help from Max Duggan. Not even the starter when the season opened, Duggan stepped in to lead the nation’s sixth-highest scoring team by throwing for 3,321 yards and 30 touchdowns with an additional 404 yards and scores on the ground. Despite averaging 40.3 points the UNDER is 4-1 in TCU’s last five games, a span where they scored more than 38 points just once. The Frogs hit that number and more in each of their first eight games with the OVER 6-2.

The Big 12 isn’t exactly known for having outstanding defensive teams, meaning the Frogs will be tested against a top-5 defense. Their incredible balance will keep the Wolverines guessing and could create scoring chances. The Frogs average more than 200 yards both running and passing to rank 25th in the FBS in each category. Kendre Miller heads the ground game with 1,342 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Defensively the Frogs are average giving up 25 points per game and nearly 385 total yards. Slowing down UM’s run game will keep the contest close.

Michigan Wolverines

Back in the playoff for second straight year, the Wolverines are looking for and expecting a different outcome. They entered last year’s semifinal matchup with eventual national champion Georgia as a 7.5-point dog and failed to cover in a 34-11 loss. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, I guess. At least that’s what the Wolverines are saying. Dominance on both sides of the ball all season led UM to a perfect record. Only two of their 13 games were decided by one score and some questioned the legitimacy of their early season schedule that included romps over Colorado State, Hawai’i and UConn.

With both teams undefeated entering the regular season finale, the Wolverines were catching points for the first time in their road tilt with Ohio State. A 9-point dog the Wolverines blew out OSU, 45-23, for a second straight season then dispatched Purdue, 43-22, in the Big Ten title game, earning a payout each time improving to 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games. UM allowed an average of just 13.4 points and is third-best against the run and in total yards surrendered. Donovan Edwards gave the team a boost running for 216 yards and two scores against OSU then going for 185 yards against Purdue in place of injured Blake Corum.

TCU vs Michigan Prediction

The Wolverines are playoff veterans now and they have a better draw than last year, which is why they are favored on the betting line. They are deserving after a dominant run that saw them outscore opponents by an average of nearly four touchdowns and their defense will give Duggan and the Frogs problems they didn’t see during their Big 12 slate.

Prediction: Michigan Wolverines -7.5 and UNDER 58.5

View college football betting odds.

Jake Flynn
Jake Flynn
Senior writer for Writes NBA, NCAA basketball, MLB, UFC and daily fantasy sports articles.

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