Michigan Wolverines vs. TCU Horned Frogs: College Football Playoff Semifinal Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/31/2022

by Chuck Sommers

College Football Playoff Semifinal: Fiesta Bowl

Time: 4 p.m. ET
Venue: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Michigan -7.5; Michigan -305, TCU +255; O/U 58.5
FanDuel: Michigan -7.5; Michigan -315, TCU +250; O/U 58.5
BetMGM: Michigan -7.5; Michigan -300, TCU +240; O/U 58.5
Caesars: Michigan -7.5; Michigan -323, TCU +250; O/U 58.5

Season record
No. 2 Michigan: 13-0
No. 3 TCU: 12-1

Bowl season is here! There are 42 games that are going to be determining how this season ends. We appreciate you for hanging with us during this college football season, and you know it’s not over yet. We’re going to keep on rolling and giving your our best picks over the course of the next month. All the way up until the College Football Playoff, which is going to have some incredible games. Do you have the right idea when you head to the books for these important games? Our champion handicappers surely have you covered. Will Rogers is running an impressive 24-11-0 in the last month. Al McMordie has also been cashing in heavily with a 40-29-1 mark in college football over the last 30 days. Our guys here have you ready to go for what should be an exciting week. Be tuned to bigal.com for everything!

Michigan - TCU preview, analysis and prediction

TCU analysis
If the College Football Playoff has given us anything over the last number of years that it's been around, it has at least ensured that the narrative of how this season unfolds for two of these teams we'll go a long way in determining how ridiculous this college football season was. And as it pertains to the horned frogs of TCU, this is about as tremendous of a Cinderella run as one could ask for. Yes, TCU lost the Big 12 championship to Kansas State, but the season had put together was still so strong that it got them to the final four. And when you look at TCU as a whole, this group is talented enough on both sides of the ball to absolutely win any game it plays. But does it have enough to get over the threshold that is staring them in the face that is Michigan? It will be up to Max Duggan and the TCU offense to try and breakthrough the wall that is the Michigan defense. The Big 12 championship was the first time Duggan really struggled throwing the ball, being held to 251 yards, one touchdown and an interception. But he made-up for it on the ground with 110 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, while Kendre Miller chipped in with 82 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own. Those two are going to need to be at their absolute best in order to knock off this Michigan defense. This is a group that has dominated all year long and has been able to stop any offense in its path. It also has not happened often That TCU has been underdogs this heavy. You have to go back to the November 12th game against Texas to find the last time TCU was underdogs by 7.5 or more. If that trend is to continue, TCU isn't an interesting spot going into this game.
Michigan analysis
The one thing that we've learned about the Michigan Wolverines over the course of this past few weeks has been the understanding that no matter who is in the backfield, Michigan is going to find a way to dominate their opponent on the ground. All season long it has been the Blake Corum show for Michigan. So much so that he absolutely earned any Heisman recognition that he got. Now that he's out for the season with a knee injury, it has become the Donovan Edwards show in the blink of an eye. Edwards ran for 185 yards and a touchdown in the big 10 championship game against Purdue in which Michigan won 43-22. That was the perfect follow-up to what Edwards did against Ohio State the week prior with Edwards running for 216 yards and two touchdowns in the game that put Michigan into the College Football Playoff and knocked out Ohio State for the time being. So the biggest thing that we've learned here is that no matter what the situation calls for, Michigan has the ability to keep running the same offense the way that it has this entire time and still put up great numbers defensively that will generate enough buzz for Michigan that still play a complete game. It is going to come down to quarterback JJ McCarthy. He has not been the dynamic thrower of the football there are a lot of people expected him to be. But as long as he does not turn the ball over and has an efficient day like he did against Purdue, Michigan is going to have a chance every single time. In the national championship game should Michigan get that far, that is another story. But at the very least, this is going to be a very exciting game.
Part of me really wants to see TCU win this game for no other reason then to see what they can do on the grand scale against Georgia. But ultimately, this is Michigan’s time and it should be noted that Michigan needs to finally take that next step in being the kind of program that it wishes to be. This is the game to do it. Michigan 37, TCU 27

Betting trends

Michigan is 23-40 ATS off 2 straight overs since 1992.

Michigan is 11-25 ATS on the road after covering as a double-digit favorite since 1992.

TCU is 0-7 ATS after failing to cover in 2 of their last 3 the last 2 seasons.

Michigan is 14-5 ATS after a conference game the last 2 seasons.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Max Duggan – 3,321 yards, 30 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Kendre Miller – 1,342 yards, 17 TD
Receiving: Quentin Johnston – 903 yards, 5 TD

Passing: J.J. McCarthy – 2,376 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Blake Corum – 1,463 yards, 18 TD
Receiving: Ronnie Bell – 754 yards, 3 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this TCU - Michigan prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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