The Michigan Wolverines will be without three of their top players on Saturday, but they are still solid favorites to defeat the Florida Gators in the Peach Bowl on ESPN. The Wolverines will be without running back Karan Higdon and two of their best defensive players, Rashan Gary and Devin Bush. The Wolverines are a 6-point favorite with the total listed at 51. Let’s look at this matchup on Friday and college football picks.
Let’s look at this game that can be seen on ESPN and live betting at BookMaker.eu.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will take place on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
NCAA Football Betting at BookMaker.eu
Michigan -6, O/U 51
It wasn’t that long ago that these teams met, as they played in the season opener a year ago at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and it was Michigan winning 33-17. This year both teams are coming off successful seasons, but Michigan ended the regular season with a bad loss to Ohio State. The Wolverines still won 10 games and will be looking to win 11 games for the first time since 2011.
The Wolverines will be without three of their top players, but the college football betting line really hasn’t moved much toward Florida. Rashan Gary is an excellent defensive end that will go high in the NFL Draft and he decided not to play in this game. Devin Bush was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and wanted to play in the game, but he has a hip injury. He is also a potential first-round NFL Draft pick. Karan Higdon decided to skip the bowl game and get ready for the draft. He had nearly 1,200 rushing yards this season.
Michigan has some capable replacements on defense, as Kwity Paye should start at defensive end, while Josh Ross will start at linebacker. It is a bit murkier at running back, as the Wolverines don’t have a ready replacement for Higdon. It will be a combination of Chris Evans, Tru Wilson and true freshman Christian Turner in the backfield.
Florida comes into this game having won three straight games. They finished the season at 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS. They averaged 34 points per game and gave up about 20 per contest. They went over the total seven times, under four times, with one push.
The Wolverines went 10-2 SU and 6-6 ATS. They averaged 37 points per game and gave up just 17. They went over the total seven times and under five times this season.
Florida has covered the spread in six of their last eight bowl games. Michigan is just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. Florida has gone over the total in five of their last seven overall, while the Wolverines have gone over in 9 of their last 11 bowl games.
There should be some good live betting opportunities in this game. The odds on this game opened with Michigan -6 and then the Wolverines were bet up to -7.5. That number dropped when news of some of the Michigan players not playing came out. The current number of six is just where the line opened. The total has seen some late line movement as it is now up to 51. The total is where I am going to focus, as I think the late line movement is noteworthy. The Wolverines lost two key defensive players and they will be facing a good Florida offense. There is no question that Michigan is going to put up points and if the Michigan defense is not as good as it was during the regular season, the Gators should have success on offense. I will take this game over the total.
NCAA Football Odds: Michigan 30, Florida 27
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