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TCU vs Michigan Prediction, Odds and College Football Betting Picks for Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal

The Fiesta Bowl will play host to the first College Football Playoff Semifinal on New Year’s Eve. The 3-seed TCU Horned Frogs will look to continue their storybook season when they face the 2-seed Michigan Wolverines with a spot in the CFP National Championship on the line. With plenty of talent on both teams, this is bound to be a fantastic matchup. The TCU vs Michigan odds and college football betting picks have declared the Big Ten representative as the favorite.

The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official TCU vs Michigan prediction for the Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal matchup.

TCU vs Michigan Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Fiesta Bowl
TCU Horned Frogs (12-1, 9-0 Big 12) vs. Michigan Wolverines (13-0, 9-0 Big Ten)
Date: Saturday, December 31, 2022
Time: 4 p.m. EST
Venue: State Farm Stadium — Glendale, AZ
Coverage: ESPN

Head coach Sonny Dykes’ first season at TCU has already been one for the ages. Despite receiving countless scares from several quality opponents, the Horned Frogs managed to find a way to go 12-0 during the regular season. Despite losing in overtime to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game, TCU still earned the 3-seed in the final CFP Rankings to secure the program’s first trip to the national semifinals. As the lowest-power-rated team in the College Football Playoff, the Frogs will be looking to play spoiler.

At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that Michigan has proven its doubters very wrong. In fact, this year’s team might be even better than the group that advanced to the College Football Playoff a year ago. After pummeling rival Ohio State on the road in the regular season finale, the Wolverines solidified their status as the 2-seed in the CFP Rankings with a victory over Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game. Jim Harbaugh’s group has yet to lose a game this season with all but two wins coming by 13 points or more.

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Donovan Edwards TCU vs Michigan prediction odds college football betting picks Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal game predictions College Football Playoff
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TCU vs Michigan College Football Betting Picks and Odds

All college football betting odds for TCU vs Michigan can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: TCU: (+265) | MICH: (-315)
Point Spread: TCU: +8 (-113) | MICH: -8 (-107)
Total: 58 — Over: (-108) | Under: (-112)

College Football FEI Ratings

The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this Fiesta Bowl matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.

Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are froFootball Outsiders

TeamOverall FEI (Rk)OFEI (Rk)DFEI (Rk)
TCU.87 (10)1.17 (12).60 (24)
Michigan1.25 (2)1.38 (9)1.09 (4)
  • Horned Frogs are 8-1-1 ATS in their last ten games against opponents allowing less than 17.5 points per game defensively.
  • Five of the Horned Frogs’ last six games against Big Ten Conference opponents have stayed UNDER the total.
  • Horned Frogs are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games after rushing for more than 200 yards in their previous game.
  • Wolverines are 0-5 ATS in their last five bowl games.
  • Since the year 2000, the total has gone OVER in 32 of the Wolverines’ 45 matchups against opponents ranked in the AP Top 10.
  • Wolverines are 5-0 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Teams from the Big Ten Conference are 7-2 ATS in their last nine Fiesta Bowl appearances.

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TCU vs Michigan Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

One of the key aspects in Saturday’s CFP Semifinal matchup will be how well TCU’s defensive front is able to hold up against the Michigan run game. To date, not a single opponent has been able to physically match up against the Wolverines’ offensive line for a full four quarters. Unless the Horned Frogs buck that trend, they could be hard-pressed to stay within a touchdown.

Michigan’s offensive line was able to take home the Joe Moore Award for the second year in a row. Coach Jim Harbaugh’s commitment to the run has resulted in the Wolverines’ physically-dominant O-line wearing down opposing defenses. The byproduct of this was a second-half scoring average of 21.5 points per game, the second-most in the country. 

Without question, Ohio State has been the toughest defensive opponent that Michigan has faced to date. The Buckeyes boast more size in their defensive front seven than TCU, yet still weren’t able to keep the dam from breaking in the latter stages of The Game. The same thing happened in the Big Ten title game against Purdue as Donovan Edwards once again ran wild in the second half.

What’s more, the Horned Frogs have already struggled to stop opposing rushing attacks on prior occasions. Most recently, Kansas State gashed them for 205 yards on the ground in the Big 12 Championship Game. While TCU was able to stymie Texas RB Bijan Robinson in a mid-November matchup, the Longhorns’ offensive line is a far cry from that of the Wolverines.

TCU also can’t exactly stack the box in this Fiesta Bowl matchup as J.J. McCarthy is more than capable of finding underrated receivers like Ronnie Bell and Cornelius Johnson down the field. Jim Thorpe Award Winner Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson leads an extremely talented Horned Frogs secondary, but blanketing all of the Wolverines’ pass-catchers in one-on-one coverage for an entire game won’t be easy.

If Max Duggan can connect with his own stud wideouts like Quentin Johnston, the Horned Frogs should be able to keep things close for a while. Doing so for a full 60 minutes is a tall order though, especially if the Michigan defense is able to bottle up Kendre Miller and the run game.

MICHIGAN COVERS will be our official college football betting TCU vs Michigan prediction for the Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Michigan a 66.3% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: Michigan -8 (-107 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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