Michigan vs. TCU: Odds and Score Prediction for Fiesta Bowl 2022

Jake RillDecember 30, 2022

Michigan vs. TCU: Odds and Score Prediction for Fiesta Bowl 2022

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    Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh instructs his team against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
    AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

    Michigan made its College Football Playoff debut in the 2021 season, and things didn't go nearly as well as the team had hoped. The Wolverines lost by 23 points to Georgia in the Orange Bowl, which prevented them from advancing to the CFP National Championship Game.

    This season, Michigan came back even stronger. And it's hoping its upcoming appearance in the College Football Playoff won't be as brief.

    On Saturday, the No. 2 Wolverines are set to take on No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The winner of that CFP semifinal matchup will move on to play in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 9.

    This will be the first all-time meeting between Michigan and TCU, which is making its CFP debut.

    Here's everything else you need to know heading into this season's Fiesta Bowl matchup.

Odds and Viewing Info

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    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 27: General view outside of State Farm Stadium before the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers on November 27, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Date: Saturday, Dec. 31

    Start Time: 4 p.m. ET

    TV: ESPN

    Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app

    Spread: Michigan -7.5

    Over/Under: 58.5 total points

    Moneyline: Michigan -305 (bet $305 to win $100); TCU +255 (bet $100 to win $255)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

How Michigan Got Here

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    Michigan running back Donovan Edwards warms up before the start of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game between Michigan and Purdue, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
    AP Photo/AJ Mast

    Georgia, the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, earned the top spot after going 13-0 and winning the SEC championship. But Michigan has been just as dominant this season, as it enters the CFP at 13-0 after winning the Big Ten title.

    The Wolverines rolled for most of the year, and they're now coming off their two biggest victories. In their regular-season finale, they beat Ohio State (which still made the CFP as the No. 4 seed). Then, they defeated Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game.

    However, Michigan notched each of those wins without its star offensive player. Junior running back Blake Corum was having a season worthy of Heisman Trophy consideration before he logged only two carries in the win over Ohio State and then underwent season-ending knee surgery.

    With Corum out, sophomore running back Donovan Edwards has stepped up and filled that void, as he's rushed for 401 yards and three touchdowns over the Wolverines' past two games. Edwards will likely continue to have a big role for a Michigan offense that ranks fifth among all FBS teams with 243 rushing yards per contest.

    On the other side of the ball, the Wolverines' defense has been dominant. They're allowing only 277.1 total yards per game (third fewest in the nation) and giving up 13.4 points per contest (fifth fewest).

    Michigan has been a solid program since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach prior to the 2015 season. However, it's reached new heights over the past two years, as the Wolverines are 25-2 since the beginning of the 2021 campaign.

How TCU Got Here

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    TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) and head coach Sonny Dykes, right, watch in the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against Kansas State, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    AP Photo/LM Otero

    The start of the Sonny Dykes era at TCU got off to a better start than anybody could have expected. In the Horned Frogs' first season under their new head coach, they've already won 12 games for the first time since the 2014 campaign and will be making their first appearance in the College Football Playoff.

    TCU went 12-0 in the regular season, with eight of those victories coming by 10 or fewer points. However, the Horned Frogs couldn't pull out another close win in the Big 12 Championship Game, where they lost 31-28 to Kansas State in overtime.

    Even though TCU couldn't capture its first Big 12 title since 2014, it had built a strong enough resume to be seeded No. 3 in the CFP by the selection committee.

    The Horned Frogs' offense is led by senior quarterback Max Duggan, a four-year starter who was named a Heisman Trophy finalist this year. He has passed for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions and ran for 404 yards and six scores in 13 games.

    TCU hasn't been quite as strong on defense, having allowed 385.1 total yards and 25 points per game. So the Horned Frogs will need to try to find ways to slow a strong Michigan offense on Saturday.

    But TCU's offense is capable of keeping up in a high-scoring affair, so it could be set if that's what the Fiesta Bowl turns into.

Prediction

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    Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is congratulated by teammates Kechaun Bennett (52), Ryan Hayes, left, and Zak Zinter (65) after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
    AP Photo/Darron Cummings

    Michigan is a strong, well-rounded team that is hungry for CFP success after coming so close to playing for a national championship last season. The Wolverines are also just going to be too talented for TCU to keep up with on Saturday.

    Duggan and the Horned Frogs' offense haven't gone up against a unit like the Michigan defense so far this year. So the Wolverines will pose a great challenge in that regard.

    On the other side, Edwards will likely break off some big plays on the ground, opening things up for a Michigan passing attack led by sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

    The Wolverines should control this game from the start, hold off some late pushes by the Horned Frogs and handily win the Fiesta Bowl. Expect Michigan to easily cover the 7.5-point spread, too.

    Prediction: Michigan 34, TCU 17


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