Fiesta Bowl | TCU vs. Michigan Prediction: Odds, Spread, and More

Who will win the Fiesta Bowl, advancing to the College Football National Championship? Our TCU vs. Michigan prediction also has the latest odds.

The Michigan Wolverines return to the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive season, taking on a TCU Horned Frogs team playing in their first final four of the CFP era. Who wins on Saturday afternoon? We’ve got all the latest college football betting odds and a TCU vs. Michigan prediction for the 2022 Fiesta Bowl.

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TCU vs. Michigan Betting Preview

  • Spread
    Michigan (-7.5)
  • Moneyline
    Michigan (-305), TCU (+255)
  • Over/Under
    58.5 points
  • Game Time
    4 p.m. ET
  • Location
    State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
  • Predicted weather
    65.9 degrees, sunny, 4.7 mph winds
  • How to watch
    ESPN, fuboTV

Before we get into our TCU vs. Michigan prediction for the Fiesta Bowl, let’s examine the odds for this College Football Playoff matchup. Can you make some money on Michigan? Are the underdog Horned Frogs set to shock the favorite in the Fiesta Bowl? Is there any value to be made betting on this CFP semifinal?

The two teams are amongst the best at covering the spread this season. Heading into the Fiesta Bowl, Michigan has covered the spread in 66.7% of their games, including covering in four of their last five. However, the Horned Frogs have covered in 75% of their games this season, including covering in the only two games they were a spread underdog (Texas and Oklahoma).

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We’ll save our thoughts on how to play the moneyline for later in the TCU vs. Michigan prediction, leaving only the over/under to consider. Both teams have been free-scoring this season, making the over 58.5-point line tempting. However, with a combined 11-14-1 record covering the over this season — and the potential for this game to be a closely fought affair — the total may fall just short of the line.

Prediction for TCU vs. Michigan

The 13-0 Wolverines face the 12-1 Horned Frogs for the right to play the winner of the Peach Bowl in the 2023 National Championship. Can TCU provide an upset in their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff, or will Michigan make it to the pinnacle of college football for the first time in the CFP era?

TCU enters the game as the underdog, but there are plenty of reasons to believe that they can pull off an upset in the Fiesta Bowl. After all, they’ve become the epitome of a shock team with their ascent from preseason afterthought to one of the best teams in the nation.

The Horned Frogs were ranked outside of the AP Top 25 ahead of the season but finished the year ranked fourth after an incredible unbeaten campaign that was only halted by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game.

The reasons begin with an offense that is as capable of conjuring up big plays as any in the country. Led by Heisman finalist Max Duggan, TCU’s offense ranks 13th in total offense (473.0 yards per game), 25th in passing (273.0 YPG), and sixth in scoring (40.3 points per game). WR Quentin Johnston (903 receiving yards, five touchdowns) is a legitimate WR1 contender in the 2023 NFL Draft, ably assisted by Derius Davis, Taye Barber, and Savion Williams.

That passing game has the ability to stress a Michigan defense that has been statistically sensational this season. Although they’ve averaged 191.8 yards allowed through the air, the Wolverines have limited opposing quarterbacks to 5.8 yards per attempt and a 56.4 completion percentage. They’re one of just four teams to have allowed single-digit passing touchdowns this fall. However, Ohio State aside, Michigan hasn’t met an offense that is as potent aerially as the Horned Frogs unit.

While they can stress the Wolverines vertically in the passing game, TCU also has one of the best running backs in the nation in the form of Kendre Miller. The explosive, physical 6’0″, 206-pound back has rushed for 1,342 yards and 17 touchdowns this fall. Between Miller, Emari Demercado, Emani Bailey, and the ground game contributions of Duggan, TCU is capable of ripping off chunk plays while dominating time of possession to limit opponent opportunities.

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So, TCU can win the Fiesta Bowl. But, our TCU vs. Michigan prediction concludes with why they won’t advance any further in the College Football Playoff.

Firstly, in addition to their ability to limit the passing game with playmakers in the secondary such as DJ Turner, freshman Will Johnson, and Mike Sainristil, the Michigan front seven has been incredibly imposing against the run game. Only Georgia and James Madison have allowed less rushing yards per game (85.23). Michigan’s given up just seven rushing touchdowns this year, and they rank fifth in yards per rushing attempt allowed (2.92 yards per attempt). Dominance.

With Mazi Smith and Kris Jenkins holding down the interior of the defensive front, edge players Mike Morris, Jaylen Harrell, and Eyabi Anoma have been able to thrive. Football games are won and lost in the trenches, and Michigan has the manpower to overwhelm TCU’s offensive line. Meanwhile, they boast one of the top offensive lines in the country, led by College Football Network’s Offensive Player of the Year, center Olusegun Oluwatimi.

That line has allowed the Wolverines to impose offensive dominance over the opponents in almost every game this season. Averaging 40.1 points per game, they’ve been a near-unstoppable force. Even without star running back Blake Corum, sophomore Donovan Edwards has been able to shoulder the load.

Although the Michigan passing game might struggle against a strong TCU secondary, quarterback J.J. McCarthy provides enough of an offensive spark alongside pass catchers Cornelius Johnson, Ronnie Bell, and Luke Schoonmaker to overcome a Horned Frogs’ defense that has oft-forced their offense to play from behind. Michigan’s ability to run the clock, convert in the red zone at a high level, and dominate the trenches sees them advance to the national championship.

Prediction: Michigan 31, TCU 27

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