Georgia vs. Michigan Orange Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal Preview and Best Bet

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Hassan Haskins #25 of the Michigan Wolverines. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

The Michigan Wolverines are an easy choice for your college football picks when they meet the Georgia Bulldogs on New Year’s Eve.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Michigan Wolverines

Friday, December 31, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at Hard Rock Stadium

There is more to college football than the SEC. No, really. Just because they’ve got Texas and Oklahoma moving there, and ESPN is trying to turn the conference into a Super League, it doesn’t mean there isn’t quality football elsewhere – like the Big Ten, for example.

Sports Reference has the Big Ten at the top of this year’s conference rankings, ahead of the SEC in second. The numbers have spoken. As it happens, the best team from each of these conferences will meet in the College Football Playoff semifinals, and not surprisingly, it’s the Big Ten team that belongs in your college football best bets.

The Michigan Wolverines are way undervalued as 8.5-point underdogs on the NCAAF odds board at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review). It’s not that the Georgia Bulldogs don’t deserve to be favored, but 8.5 points favorites? Yes, please.

A Wild Bettor Appears

Thank goodness the betting public has finally entered the marketplace. These are the tasty exploits that sharps have been waiting all year to make – and yes, the consensus reports at Bookmaker Review show 80 percent of bettors on Michigan (12-1 SU, 11-2 ATS) as we go to press.

Say it along with me: Early money is sharp money. Plus, the projections we’re scanning here at the home office have Georgia (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS) winning by anywhere between four and 6.5 points. Getting the Wolverines at more than a touchdown plus a 2-point conversion is a dream scenario.

It’s worth opening up those wallets and/or purses and throwing at least two units on the Blue and Maize; the bigger the gap between the projections and the NCAAF lines, the bigger chunk of your bankroll you should be willing to risk. That’s just science.

Stay In School, Kids

Of course, in this day and age, we have to take a moment to consider which players will actually be in uniform.

Neither team in this playoff matchup has anyone opting out (at least at press time) to prepare for the NFL Draft; we’re also not seeing any big COVID-19 issues for either side, but that could change in a heartbeat, of course.

Good thing it already behooves us to wait until closer to kick-off. There’s a good chance the Wolverines will be available at even longer odds, as the SEC-obsessed public gets more of their money in. Taking that time to do some more research and get some medical updates would be prudent... at this... juncture.

Expert Pick

It would also be nice to find out whom the Bulldogs will have at quarterback. After their SEC title loss to Alabama, head coach Kirby Smart has to choose between Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels – or maybe use both somehow.

Also of note, defensive coordinator Dan Lanning will work the Orange Bowl for Georgia despite already having been hired as the new head coach of the Oregon Ducks. This is exactly the kind of flux we need to help our cause. Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NCAAF Pick: Michigan +8.5 (–110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Michigan +8.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.