Florida vs Michigan -6 (o/u 49)
Moving into the heart of the bowl season, we start to see teams with substance. #10 Florida (9-3) comes into this game with three consecutive victories to move to 9-3 on the season. It’s noteworthy that the Gators were only 2-3 against ranked competition, scoring a dismal 18 PPG. On offense, Florida ranked 86th in the nation, relying mostly on a running attack that saw Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlett share rushing responsibilities and combine for 1,467 yards and 10 TDs. Where Florida really excelled was on defense where they played inspired football to hold a schedule of really good football teams to slightly more than 344 YPG to rank 27th in the nation for total defense. They were actually one of the best defenses in the nation against the pass where they only allowed 175.1 PPG.
#7 Michigan (10-2) comes into this game with the #1 defense in the nation, giving up only 262.5 YPG, also only allowing just over 145 YPG passing to opposing QBs. The Wolverines’ only two losses on the season came to undefeated #3 Notre Dame in the first game of the season and #6 Ohio State in the last game of the regular season. Otherwise, Michigan disposed of the rest of the competition rather easily. This is Michigan and Michigan still loves to run the ball. RB Karan Higdon led a solid rushing attack with 1,178 yards rushing and 10 TDs. If the Wolverines needed to pass the ball, they could do so with confidence in QB Shea Patterson, who threw for 2,364 yards, 21 TDs and only 5 INTs.
Prediction: Neither of these teams has an advantage on offense. The both have good steady offenses that grind out yards and don’t make many mistakes. It’s a different story on defense where Michigan holds a big advantage. It’s hard to imagine this Florida offense putting up more than three TDs. With two top defenses and two conservative offenses, the total seems high. Play under 49.