The second College Football Playoff semifinal game on New Year’s Eve features No. 3 Georgia taking on No. 2 Michigan for the first time in decades. The Dawgs are favored to advance to the championship game – most likely against No. 1 Alabama.
The Bulldogs and Wolverines are very alike in terms of style, although Georgia takes more downfield shots in the passing game. Both teams rely on stingy defenses and the running game to control the clock.
There have been no opt-outs of this game as of this writing or any major COVID issues on either team, although that can certainly change. Last Wednesday, the entire Michigan team got the COVID booster short. The extra precautions for coach Jim Harbaugh’s team come at a time when COVID-19 cases have increased by 294% in Florida over the last 14 days., Florida is averaging 7,068 new cases and 1,538 new hospitalizations per day during that stretch. Broward County, where Michigan will be headquartered throughout the week, and Miami-Dade County, where the game will be played, are the two most explosive areas in the state.
Michigan and Georgia are meeting on the gridiron for the third time and the first time in over 65 years. Both previous matchups came at Michigan Stadium: a 26-0 victory for the Wolverines in 1957 and a 15-7 win for the Bulldogs in 1965.
Check out the latest College Football odds, analysis, and a free pick for Georgia vs. Michigan.
Georgia vs. Michigan 2021 Orange Bowl Game Information
- When: Friday, Dec. 31 at 7:30 pm ET
- Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: WSB 750 AM (Georgia) / 790 NewsRadio WSGW (Michigan)
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- College Football Odds: Georgia (-7.5) / Michigan (+7.5)
Why Bet on the Georgia Bulldogs?
Georgia (12-1) was No. 1 much of the season but lost in the SEC title game to Alabama. QB Stetson Bennett, a former walk-on, had been good for most of the regular season, avoiding mistakes and taking care of the football. But he had two interceptions against the Crimson Tide, one returned for a score. He completed 29 of 48 passes for 340 yards with three scores. Bennett will start this game. UGA has one of the nation’s best young tight ends in freshman Brock Bowers, who caught 10 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown vs. the Tide.
Defensive lineman Jordan Davis on Thursday was chosen as the 2021 winner of the Outland Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award. Nakobe Dean became the second Bulldog to win the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker. They lead a defense that is first in the country in scoring defense (9.5 points per game) and red zone defense (60 percent), second in total defense (254.4 yards/game) and ranks third in passing yards allowed (172.7 y/g) and in rushing defense (81.7 y/g).
Dawgs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is the new head coach at Oregon but will coach the Georgia defense in the playoffs.
Georgia has appeared in the Orange Bowl three times: Jan. 1, 1942, Georgia 40, TCU, 26; Jan. 1, 1949, Texas 41, Georgia 28; and Jan. 1, 1960, Georgia 14, Missouri 0. This will be Georgia’s 58th bowl game appearance second most of any team in the country. The Bulldogs’ all-time bowl record is 33-21-3. Georgia is making its 25th consecutive bowl appearance, which ranks as the longest active streak in the country.
UGA’s senior class is 43-8 with three New Year’s Six bowl appearances (2-1), three SEC Eastern Division titles (2018-19-21), and a College Football Playoff appearance (2021).
Why Bet on the Michigan Wolverines?
The Wolverines (12-1) won the Big Ten title game in a 42-3 rout over Iowa to earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. It was the program’s league-leading 43rd Big Ten title and the program’s first under Jim Harbaugh. U-M has achieved its first 12-win season since 1997 and the third in program history (1905).
The team ranks in the top 15 nationally in scoring defense (4th) and scoring offense (13th) and in the top 20 in total defense (13th) and total offense (18th). Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was the Heisman Trophy runner-up, a first-team All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He has 58 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks (school record), three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
UM also has the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker in Jake Moody. He was the No. 2 single-season scorer in Michigan history (123) and fifth-highest-scoring kicker (9.4 points per game) nationally. Moody made 22 field goals on 24 attempts with 16 makes at or beyond 30 yards.
Michigan will be making its 49th all-time bowl appearance and has won 21. The Wolverines are playing in the Orange Bowl for the fourth time in school history, and have a 1-2 record in the bowl.
Georgia vs. Michigan Betting Trends
- Bulldogs are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 non-conference games.
- Bulldogs are 11-5 ATS in the last 16 neutral site games.
- The total went under in 6 of Georgia’s last 9 games.
- Wolverines are 5-0 ATS in the last 5 games overall.
- Wolverines are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 neutral site games as an underdog.
- The total went over in 6 of Michigan’s last 9 games.
Georgia vs. Michigan Expert Betting Predictions
Pick: Georgia wins but Michigan covers
Check out our latest sports betting guides for the 2021 College Football season. Stay tuned for more Football previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest Football betting odds at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.