Michigan vs Alabama 2019 Citrus Bowl Odds, Preview & Prediction.

Michigan vs Alabama 2019 Citrus Bowl Odds, Preview & Prediction

Written by on December 31, 2019

It’s two of college football’s blueblood programs facing off on New Year’s Day in the Citrus Bowl as No. 14 Michigan takes on No. 13 Alabama. Both head coaches certainly expected more from their teams this season. The Tide are touchdown favorites on the Mybookie NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Michigan vs Alabama 2019 Citrus Bowl Odds & Game Info

Michigan vs Alabama Series History

Fifth meeting and the first since an Alabama victory over Michigan during the opening week of the 2012 season. The all-time series between the teams is tied 2-2.

Why Bet on Michigan?

The Wolverines haven’t played since being embarrassed by rival Ohio State 56-27 on Nov. 30. Senior quarterback Shea Patterson threw for 250 yards in the first half to pass Tom Brady on Michigan’s career passing yards list. Patterson’s first-half total was more than Ohio State had allowed in any game this season. Patterson finished the game with 305 yards on 18-of-43 passing with one touchdown and one interception.

Patterson has been playing his best football in the latter half of this season for the Wolverines. He has thrown for 1,055 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions over the past three games and will be integral in the offense’s success for the bowl game. He is the first quarterback in Michigan history to throw for 300 or more yards in three consecutive games.

Patterson needs three passing scores to equal the U-M season record of 25 set by Elvis Grbac (1991) and Chad Henne (2004). He is also 172 passing yards shy of becoming the third quarterback in school history to pass for 3,000 yards in a season, joining John Navarre (3,331 yards in 2003) and Jake Rudock (3,017 in 2015).

More Numbers

Michigan needs 175 yards in the Citrus Bowl to reach 5,000 for the fifth straight season under head coach Jim Harbaugh. The offense has produced 400 yards of total offense in seven games, including five of the last seven. With 4,825 yards on 825 offensive plays, the Wolverines are averaging 402.1 yards per game and 5.8 yards per play.

Michigan enters the game ranked sixth nationally in total defense, allowing 292.8 yards per game, and has held opposing quarterbacks to just 173.8 passing yards per game.

This will be the sixth time that Michigan plays in the Citrus Bowl. U-M has compiled a 4-1 record in its five prior appearances in the Orlando bowl game. The program’s last appearance in the Citrus Bowl came in the 2016 game, a 41-7 win over Florida in Harbaugh’s first bowl game as Michigan head coach. Michigan is 11th all-time in bowl appearances with 48 including this year and 17th in bowl victories (21). U-M has played in 12 different bowl games during its history. This will be the 16th time that Michigan faces a Southeastern Conference school in a bowl game (8-7 record).

Team Stats

Offense
  • Points per Game: 33.00
  • Passing Yards: 252.33
  • Rushing Yards: 149.75
  • Yards per Play: 5.85

Defense

  • Points per Game: 19.50
  • Passing Yards: 173.75
  • Rushing Yards: 119.08
  • Yards per Play: 4.44

Why Bet on Alabama?

The Tide have missed the College Football Playoff for the first time. They last played Nov. 30 and were upset 48-45 at rival Auburn. Sophomore wide receiver Jaylen Waddle combined for four touchdowns on the day, including a 98-yard kickoff return for a score, as well as 98 receiving yards and touchdowns of 58, 12 and 28 yards on just four catches. Waddle finished his day with 230 all-purpose yards.

The offense was led by redshirt sophomore Mac Jones. The quarterback, making his third start of the year, went 26-of-39 for 335 yards and four touchdowns to go with two interceptions. Jones is starting because star Tua Tagovailoa is out injured. Alabama outgained Auburn, 515-354, overall and 335-173 in the passing game.

Alabama had three players named second-team All-American: Waddle, fellow receiver DeVonta Smith and offensive tackle Jedrick Willis. Smith lads the nation in yards after the catch with 731 for an average of 61.0 yards per game. He ranks second in the SEC and is tied for fifth nationally in touchdown receptions (13). Smith leads Alabama in receiving yards with 1,200.

Michigan vs Alabama is going to be a close one.

Waddle was the 2019 SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. He leads the nation in punt return average at 24.9 yards per return with 19 returns for 474 yards and a score and also returned four kickoffs for 152 yards and a touchdown. Waddle added 553 yards and six touchdowns on 32 catches as a wide receiver. Willis anchored an Alabama offensive line that has surrendered only 12 sacks in 381 pass attempts.

What about the Defense?

Two key Tide defenders are skipping the game to prepare for the NFL draft: junior linebacker Terrell Lewis and defensive back Trevon Diggs. Lewis finished the 2019 season with 11.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Diggs recorded 37 tackles, one fumble recovery and three interceptions this season.

One of his interceptions went for a touchdown and his lone fumble recovery went 100 yards for a score. Alabama ranks 17th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 318.6 yards per game, and its pass defense ranks No. 9 among FBS programs at 183.4 yards allowed per game. Xavier McKinney leads the Tide defense with 85 total tackles on the season.

Alabama is 2-0 in two previous appearances in the Citrus Bowl, with the most recent coming in 2011 against Michigan State. Nick Saban is 11-5 in postseason games at Alabama.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Points per Game: 48.25
  • Passing Yards: 343.50
  • Rushing Yards: 169.83
  • Yards per Play: 7.83

Defense

  • Points per Game: 18.83
  • Passing Yards: 183.42
  • Rushing Yards: 135.08
  • Yards per Play: 4.80

Michigan vs Alabama 2019 Citrus Bowl Betting Trends

  • Wolverines are 0-16 SU in their last 16 games when playing as the underdog
  • Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games this season
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of Michigan’s last 14 games played in January
  • Crimson Tide are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games this season
  • Crimson Tide are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against an opponent in the Big 10 conference
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of Alabama’s last 8 games played in January

Expert Final Score Prediction for Michigan vs Alabama

Michigan 30 – Alabama 38

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