Speaking of which, both games happen on December 31. Michigan-Georgia will play in the Orange Bowl in Miami, whereas Alabama-Cincinnati squares off in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Here's who and how to bet on both games:
Against The Spread: No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines
We begin with the Orange Bowl, a game that the top online sportsbooks all differ when setting the against-the-spread lines. While Georgia is favored across the boards, its line ranges from -7.5 to -9 from betting site to betting site.
Matchup-wise, the Wolverines and Dawgs are almost carbon copies of one another. On offense, each team is run-first-minded. Neither possesses a quarterback that can "wow" you, but these signal-callers also don't beat themselves with bad throws and turnovers. Defensively, each side is anchored by dominating defensive lines that like to disrupt opposing quarterbacks and blow up the run game. So what gives?
Given the similarities between the schools, this game will be won and lost in the trenches. The offensive lines are almost a wash. Michigan is averaging 5.31 yards per carry, while Georgia is at 5.28. In the same token, only 10 sacks have been allowed by the Wolverines and 11 by the Bulldogs.
However, differences are more noticeable to spot when evaluating the defensive lines. Get this, giving up only 2.6 yards per carry, the Dawgs had the third-best rush defense in the nation. Wolverines weren't anywhere near as good with a 3.52 average allowed. Therefore, a big advantage goes to Georgia to slow down Michigan's attack.
After the Dawgs lost convincingly to the Tide, head coach Kirby Smart said something to the effect that the loss would "wake up" Georgia — a team that played one competitive game all regular-season long. We sense that's a very valid takeaway and the Bulldogs will be revitalized against the Wolverines. Sure, the teams are evenly matched, but Georgia is deeper and plays in a much tougher conference. They'll outmuscle the Wolverines for 60 minutes to cover the spread down in Miami.
Against The Spread: Alabama Rolling Tide vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Unlike the Orange Bowl, there's less of a dispute in the Cotton Bowl among oddsmakers for football betting. Alabama is the clear-cut favorite with an against-the-spread line of -13.5 almost across the board.
There's little to say about 'Bama that you probably don't know already. Once again, Nick Saban has assembled a team loaded with future NFL Draft picks. It's rinse-and-repeat for Saban and this 2021 edition is led by quarterback Bryce Young. By torching Georgia's number-one ranked defense for 461 yards of offense and three touchdowns in the SEC title game, Young likely became the Heisman Trophy frontrunner.
Almost everyone knows what they're getting from a Saban-coached Tide team in crunch time, but Cincinnati is a much larger mystery. The step-up in competition from the American Conference to Alabama is the size of the Grand Canyon. The bright lights of the College Football Playoff are also unchartered territory for the Bearcats, who haven't quite played with the eyes of the country on them.
At least Cincinnati won't have to worry about defending wide receiver John Metchie. The Bama player tore his ACL against Georgia and is done for. The matchup between the Bearcats secondary versus the Tide's receiving corp is likely the big X-factor in this one. It helps that Cincinnati has one of the best cover men — Ahmad "Sauce" Gardener — back there.
Regardless, we're hammering the Alabama spread. In betting, we have a tried-and-true mantra — never bet against all-time greatness. Welp, Saban is exactly that in college football. Betting the Tide to cover the spread is our most confident bet of the CFP semi-finals round, no question about it.
How To Bet On College Football Playoff Online?
While both our picks above were spreads, there are plenty more College Football Playoff bets available online. This ranges from over/unders to moneylines to props and everything in between. If you want in on the betting fun, then you need to visit one of the bookmakers we've listed underneath. These sites are your "best bet" to lock in fair wagering prices on the entire NCAAF bowl season!
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