TCU vs Michigan Odds, Prediction, Picks | How to Bet Fiesta Bowl

TCU vs Michigan Odds, Prediction, Picks | How to Bet Fiesta Bowl article feature image

Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images and Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Dee Winters (13) of TCU and Mike Morris (90) of Michigan.

TCU vs Michigan Odds

Saturday, December 31
4 p.m. ET
TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
Michigan Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Fiesta Bowl will be the site when TCU makes its first appearance in the College Football Playoff to take on Michigan.

Under first-year head coach Sonny Dykes, the Horned Frogs were one of the most bankable teams at 9-3-1 against the spread.

Dykes' Air Raid offensive system fit the skill set of the players inherited, while the hiring of up-and-coming defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie was instrumental in multiple key victories.

This will be Michigan's second consecutive playoff appearance, as head coach Jim Harbaugh looks for redemption after getting blown out by Georgia a year ago.

Despite turnover at the coordinator positions, the Wolverines have improved on both sides of the ball. The 24-month maturation of the Wolverines' offense was on full display in a blowout of fellow playoff team Ohio State.

Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback, is now two victories away from bringing home a national championship for the first time since 1997.

TCU Horned Frogs

Gary Patterson did not finish the 2021 season as TCU's head coach after more than two decades in Fort Worth.

The bulk of the Horned Frogs' explosive offense was in place during his departure, paving the way for Dykes to begin with an explosive offensive attack.

Opponents that defend the tackle box lightly have dealt with a trio of flammable rushers. Running backs Emari Demercado and Kendre Miller along with quarterback Max Duggan have combined for 70 rushes over 10 yards.

When opponents elect to load the box, wide receiver Taye Barber and Quentin Johnston have averaged more than 2.6 yards per route run.

#CFB's Top 5 Fastest Ball Carriers from Week 12

3️⃣ TCU WR Taye Barber (@_UniquelyGifted) 20.6 mph💨@TCUFootball |

— Reel Analytics (@RAanalytics) November 25, 2022

Dykes' offense has been an appealing sight for fans and bettors, but TCU has consistent struggles in creating quality drives. The Horned Frogs rank outside of the top 50 in Success Rate on standard and passing downs.

Explosive plays that don't find the end zone can create issues for this Air Raid offense. TCU finished 80th in red-zone efficiency, further signifying that explosive plays have been its primary avenue to points.

Dykes plucked Gillespie from Tulsa to lead the defense, and he has had an immediate impact on a roster that was near dead last in FBS last season.

TCU made a schematic switch from the 4-2-5 to the 3-3-5 stack, relying on stunts and slants to fill gaps. Excellent cornerback play from Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson and Josh Newton has led to 30 combined forced incompletions.

Josh Newton | Takes Interception 57-Yards TO THE HOUSE To Put TCU Up Big | ISU@TCU | 2023 NCAAF

— ATG MVP (@atg_mvp) November 27, 2022

Gillespie has received a better performance from his defense after halftime adjustments in almost every game this season.

Overpursuit has led to missed assignments, as TCU ranks outside the top 50 in all defensive rushing analytics. Havoc is not a part of the Horned Frogs' formula, and their Finishing Drives rank still sits outside the top 100.

However, Gillespie has a defense that's 40th in third-down defense, coming up with stops when the Horned Frogs need it most.

Collin Wilson's Top Bets for OSU vs. UGA

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan losing its offensive and defensive coordinator after a run to the College Football Playoff was unexpected.

Josh Gattis was highly sought after and given credit for the current offensive scheme that had so much success in the 2021 season. His departure to Miami allowed Harbaugh to promote from within, naming co-coordinators in offensive line coach Sherrone Moore and quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss.

The combination has been lethal against opposing defenses, using a combination of a dual-threat quarterback, explosive skill positions and an offensive line that plows.

"That's what a great offensive line can do."

See some examples of what makes b2b @JoeMooreAward winning @UMichFootball's OL so good. ⤵️

— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) December 18, 2022

Quarterback JJ McCarthy took over starting duties after Cade McNamara suffered an injury and never looked back. With only three interceptions on the season, McCarthy added 138 scramble yards alongside running back Blake Corum.

Since a knee injury ended Corum's season, Donovan Edwards has asserted himself as the most explosive back in the nation. Edwards ran for more than 400 yards in the final two games against Ohio State and Purdue.

The Michigan defense underwent a coordinator change as well, with Mike Macdonald returning to the Baltimore Ravens. In exchange, the Wolverines would pull former Ravens assistant Jesse Minter to carry on the scheme laid forth by Macdonald.

Minter was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, recognizing the best assistant in college football.

Michigan ranks 16th in defensive expected points, limiting explosives through the air and on the ground. The defense is rarely penalized and holds the top overall grade in tackling, per PFF.

TCU vs Michigan Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how TCU and Michigan match up statistically:

TCU Offense vs Michigan Defense
Rush Success439
Line Yards6128
Pass Success6612
Pass Blocking**2431
Finishing Drives4414
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)

Michigan Offense vs TCU Defense
Rush Success680
Line Yards2055
Pass Success1321
Pass Blocking**37117
Finishing Drives11102
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling271
PFF Coverage545
SP+ Special Teams316
Seconds per Play27.1 (85)29.5 (123)
Rush Rate55.3% (57)62.6% (10)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics

TCU vs Michigan Prediction, Picks

The coordinators for each side have played a large role as to why each of these programs will compete to play for the National Championship. Gillespie and Minter have been two of the best halftime adjusters in the sport, as both Michigan and TCU dominate passing downs in terms of Defensive Success Rate.

The inconsistencies fall on a Horned Frogs defense that ranks 128th in eliminating explosive plays in standard downs. The Horned Frogs boast a poor pass rush, which is critical to forcing McCarthy outside the tackle box.

The most dominant aspect of this game may be the Wolverines' offensive line, running counters with plenty of pulling guards and tackles.

The handicap comes in Michigan's ability to eliminate explosive plays on defense. TCU ranks in the bottom half of FBS in terms of sustained drives and converting red-zone attempts into points. Instead, the Horned Frogs rely on explosive plays, as they rank top-10 in standard down and passing down explosiveness.

TCU has similar offensive concepts as Tennessee, with the idea of stretching the field and running deep verticals. That offensive plan is diminished when cornerbacks can jam receivers and play tight man-to-man coverage. Michigan fields four defensive backs that rank inside the top 150 nationally in PFF coverage grading, led by cornerback DJ Turner.

Michigan will win this game because of the advantages it has in the trench on both sides of the ball. While Gillespie will make halftime adjustments to limit McCarthy, Minter will scheme to confuse Duggan with differing coverage and blitz schemes.

Look for the Wolverines' coordinators' creativity and ability to modify on the fly to be the primary reason Michigan competes for the national title.

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