Florida Gators vs. Michigan Wolverines
Date and Time: Saturday, December 29, 2018, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Opening CFB Odds: Michigan -6, 50.5
Florida Gators vs. Michigan TV Coverage: ESPN
Owners of one of the better offenses in the conference and backed by a rock solid defense, the Gators went on to win nine games and padded their wagering supporter’s bankrolls by boing a moneymaking 8-4 ATS at top rated sportsbooks. Total bettors also backed with the over cashing in at a 7-4-1 clip. Florida closed the year with a 41-14 demolition of Florida State and went 4-1 SU and ATS on the road in the regular season.
The Wolverines lost their season opener in South Bend against Notre Dame, but then proceeded to win 10 straight games leading up to what was hoped to be an epic clash against Ohio State. They covered the closing CFB odds six times over the course of the win streak, but got annihilated 62-39 by Dwayne Haskins and company to fall out of the CFP race. Numerous players are sitting this game out to concentrate on the NFL Draft, and there are rumors of Jim Harbaugh being headed back to the NFL. One can only wonder where this team’s psyche is at heading into this matchup.
Matchup To Watch
Florida got the job done on the ground offensively all season. Lamical Perine, Jordan Scarlett, Dameon Perce and quarterback Feleipe Franks all combined to lead the Gators to the nation’s No. 26 ranked rushing attack that averaged a healthy 5.1 yards per carry ( No. 22 ). Their matchup with the Wolverines stout run defense was made a bit easier once LB Devin Bush decided to forego this game to stay as healthy as possible for the upcoming NFL Draft. With him in the mix, Michigan ranked No. 18 against the run in allowing 116.6 yards per game and a miniscule 3.4 yards per carry ( No. 16 ). It remains to be seen whether Michigan will be able to survive his loss in this matchup against a Florida attack that brings with it a run heavy attack to the table.
1.3 – With the Gators looking to the ground more often than not, it comes as no surprise to see them ranked No. 20 overall in sacks allowed with an average of just 1.3 per game. If and when they have issues moving the pigskin via the run against the Wolverines defense, Florida will be forced to look to the air. That’s not a good thing considering their passing attack was below average ( No. 95 ) and largely ineffective. Florida’s front wall will have its hands full on passing downs with Michigan one of the better teams in the nation at sacking the quarterback in averaging 2.6 per game ( No. 34 ). Should Florida be able to stay ahead of the down and distance, this likely won’t be an issue. It’ll be an entirely different story if that doesn’t turn out to be the case.
Bet the Peach Bowl at BookMaker.eu
I’m pretty surprised to see the Wolverines getting most of the public and sharp love in this bowl matchup at offshore sportsbooks. It can’t be stated enough how much of a question mark Michigan is entering this game. Had things not gone the way they did, they’d be battling for the national championship. Instead, they’re in a much lesser tiered matchup against a Florida team that finished third in the SEC East. Talk about going from riches to rags! On the flipside, the Gators are looking to cap off what was a very successful season in Gainesville under the new coaching staff. On top of all that, Michigan has failed to log wins in each of its last two bowl trips, and its last triumph just so happened to come against these same Florida Gators whom they spanked 41-7 back in 2016. I’m expecting everything to come full circle here and for the Gators to exact a bit of revenge while putting a cherry on top of a very solid season.
CFB ATS Betting Pick: Florida +6 at BookMaker.eu
CFB Score Prediction: Gators 26 – Wolverines 21