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Rose Bowl Betting Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Michigan Wolverines

January 1, 2024

In the first College Football Playoff Semifinal game the #1-ranked Michigan Wolverines will face the #4-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl and will take place in the 2024 Rose Bowl on Monday, January 1st, at 5:00 PM ET on Monday evening and will air on ESPN.


The Michigan Wolverines enter this game ranked 1st in the College Football Playoff rankings and for the 2nd year in a row finished undefeated and won the Big Ten Championship game following a 26-0 win against the Iowa Hawkeyes.


This will be the 3rd consecutive season the Wolverines will be in the College Football Playoffs, however, they lost the previous two seasons with a loss against the Georgia Bulldogs in 2022 and the TCU Horned Frogs in 2023 and will be looking for a different outcome this season.


The Wolverines have the best scoring defense in college football this season and are allowing the 2nd fewest yards per game with an average of 9.46 points allowed and 239.69 total yards per game allowed this season. 


Michigan was one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation this season as well and they are averaging the 14th most points per game with an average of 36.69 points per game. J.J. McCarthy showed improvements in the passing game this season as the Wolverines had more of a balance offensively compared to last season and McCarthy enters this game having completed 213 of 287 attempts for 2,630 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions. The Michigan Wolverines will look to advance to the National Championship game with a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide.


Alabama finished the season as the SEC Champions following a 27-24 win against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2023 SEC Championship game which also extended their winning streak to 11 games as they have not lost since their 24-34 loss at home against the Texas Longhorns in the 2nd game of the year.


Jalen Milroe has shown unbelievable improvement as a quarterback since the beginning of the season as he finished the regular season completing 171 of 261 attempts for 2,718 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions and showed he is one of the most lethal offensive weapons in college football as he added 468 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the ground. 


The defense for the Crimson Tide was spotty at times, however, they finished the season allowing the 16th fewest points per game with an average of 18.38 points per game. The Alabama Crimson Tide will look to advance to the National Championship game for the first time since the 2021 college football season when they play the Michigan Wolverines in the 2024 Rose Bowl on Monday evening.


BookMaker has the Michigan Wolverines listed as 1.5-point favorites against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2024 Rose Bowl on Monday evening. Alabama has won three of the four games all-time in the series including the previous two matchups with the last game having occurred in the 2019 college football season and resulted in a 35-16 win for the Alabama Crimson Tide while covering the 7.5-point spread as a favorite. The Alabama Crimson Tide are 9-4 ATS overall and 1-0 ATS as an underdog this season while the Michigan Wolverines are 7-5-1 ATS overall on the year.


Jim Harbaugh doesn’t have a good track record in bowl games as the head coach for the Michigan Wolverines as he is 1-6 in bowl games and has lost both times the Wolverines have made the college football playoffs. Alabama has also been the better team in the series winning three of the four games all-time and has won the last two games in the series.


The Crimson Tide have been the better team at covering the spread this season as they are 9-4 ATS overall while the Wolverines are 7-5-1 ATS overall.


Both teams ran the ball a lot and while Michigan defense was strong in every aspect Alabama has absolutely exceeded expectations but I see Michigan winning. Should be a close, low scoring game.


Spooky Express Pick: Michigan Wolverines PK (ML-118)