The Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators face off for the second year in a row and just the fifth time ever. It all goes down in the highly-anticipated 2018 Peach Bowl, kicking off at noon ET on Saturday from Atlanta. After the line climbed as high as 7.5, the No. 7 Wolverines are now 5.5-point favorites in the latest Michigan vs. Florida odds, with the over-under for total points scored set at 51. The Wolverines are -220 on the money line (risk $220 to win $100), while the Gators are +180 (risk $100 to win $180). Michigan dropped Florida, 33-17, in Dallas last September and has won every matchup between the teams. However, No. 10 Florida is coming on a three-game win streak, so before locking in any Michigan vs. Florida picks and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl predictions, you should check out what SportsLine expert Mike Tierney is saying.
A national sportswriter whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the veteran sportswriter and handicapper has covered college football of all levels up close for decades and is wrapping up his second-straight year in the black for those following him.
He’s especially hot when it comes to picking Michigan games, hitting on his past five spread picks involving the Wolverines. Most recently, he took Indiana (+28) in Michigan’s 31-20 win on Nov. 17 and backed Rutgers (+39) in the Wolverines’ 42-7 win on Nov. 10. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now he’s evaluated the latest 2018 Peach Bowl odds and crunched the numbers for every possible scenario for Michigan vs. Florida. His Peach Bowl 2018 pick is locked in only at SportsLine.
Tierney knows Michigan’s regular season ended in disappointment, routed by rival Ohio State, 62-39. But this team was a national title contender before that dud. Led by the nation’s top defense, the Wolverines won their 10 games by an average of 26.1 points, including dominant wins over top 25 teams Wisconsin (38-13), Michigan State (21-7), and Penn State (42-7).
The Wolverines’ defense has received the headlines, and rightfully so, leading the nation in fewest yards allowed (262.5). In their 10 wins, the Wolverines held their opponent to 10 points or fewer five times and never allowed more than 21.
But just because Michigan’s team is balanced doesn’t mean it will cover the 7.5-point Peach Bowl spread against the Gators.
When Florida’s offense produces, the Gators have been tough to stop. In the Gators’ nine wins, they’ve averaged 46 points. In the three losses, that number plummeted to 20.3. Quarterback Feleipe Franks has shown tremendous growth in his second year as the starter and first under new coach Dan Mullen. He’s recorded 23 touchdown passes against just six interceptions — compared to an 8-6 ratio last year — and has been sacked only 12 times, compared to 29 in 2017.
Overall, the offense is averaging 34.5 points, compared to 22.1 just one season ago. And the Gators’ offensive line won’t have to worry about imposing Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary, a potential top 10 NFL Draft pick who elected to forgo the Peach Bowl 2018.
Tierney has analyzed Michigan vs. Florida from every possible angle and while we can tell you he’s leaning over, he has identified a crucial x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Michigan vs. Florida? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Mike Tierney’s pick for the 2018 Peach Bowl, all from a seasoned college football expert who’s 5-0 on Michigan picks, and find out.