Michigan vs Alabama Rose Bowl Preview and Prediction January 1, 2024.
Michigan vs Alabama January 1, 2024 @ Pasadena, CA
Opening Betting Odds
Spread: Michigan -2, Alabama +2
Moneyline: Michigan -130, Alabama +110
Michigan survived mid-season controversy and the absence of their head coach in their final three regular season games. They come into the College Football playoffs as the #1 seed with a 13-0 record after beating Ohio State and then Iowa in the BIG10 Championship Game.
Alabama was a controversial pick for the #4 seed, despite their 12-1 record they edged out the 13-0 Florida State Seminoles. There is no denying they earned their spot however after they defeated the #1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game.
The Wolverines were visibly shocked when it was announced that they would be facing Alabama. Whether it was disappointment, fear or disbelief, it was clear that they were hoping to face Florida State.
- 13-0 Overall in 2023
- 9-0 in the BIG10 in 2023
- 7-5-1 ATS in 2023
The Wolverines are an experienced team loaded with seniors on both sides of the ball. They are big and physical and they finished the season with the top ranked scoring defense in the country allowing just 9.5 points per game.
Quarterback JJ McCarthy put up similar numbers this season as he did in his first year as a starter, but notable is his completion percentage going from 64.6 percent last year to 74.2 percent this year. Running back Blake Corum ran for 24 touchdowns in his senior season, and he is healthy heading into the Rose Bowl after missing last year’s playoff game due to injury.
Coming into this season Jim Harbaugh had a record of 5-16 versus teams ranked in the Top 10. Michigan won a pair of games against Top 10 teams this year (Penn State and Ohio State). Technically Harbaugh wasn’t on the sidelines for either of those wins.
- 12-1 Overall in 2023
- 8-0 in the SEC in 2023
- 9-4 ATS in 2023
The Crimson Tide lost at home by double digits to Texas in Week 2. Then they almost lost to South Florida in their next game. Quarterback Jalen Milroe struggled in the first few weeks, and pundits predicted that it was going to be a down year in Tuscaloosa.
A few weeks later Milroe threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in a win on the road at Texas A&M. He finished the year among the favorites to win the Heisman.
Nick Saban is in a class of his own, clearly the greatest college football coach of all time. His seven national championship wins are as many as Tom Brady has Super Bowl rings. Saban has a record of 8-2 all time versus teams ranked #1 in the country.
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of Alabama’s last 8 games played in January.
- The Crimson Tide are 17-3 SU in their last 20 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of Michigan’s last 14 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 11 of Michigan’s last 14 games played in January.
- The Wolverines are 0-16 SU in their last 16 games when playing as the underdog..
PREDICTION: MICHIGAN 21 – ALABAMA 28
This very well could be a case of the wrong team favored. These teams are miles apart as far as strength of schedule. Alabama faced #11 Texas in Week 2, and they had four wins over ranked opponents before Michigan played a ranked team for the first time in mid November. Nick Saban has the edge over Jim Harbaugh, and some would say that’s particularly true if Harbaugh doesn’t have his opponents signs. Jalen Milroe could be the X-Factor, as he’s clearly the best quarterback Michigan will have faced this season. Alabama should find a way to win this game.