All eyes will turn to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Alabama, the first of two College Football Playoff matchups on New Year's Day.
We have you covered with all the betting angles for the Rose Bowl, including player props and analysis for how each team will look to attack the other. Keep reading for analysis on both quarterbacks, Michigan's J.J. McCarthy and Alabama's Jalen Milroe, as well as Wolverines tight end Colston Loveland.
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Jalen Milroe's Deep Passing is Key for Alabama
As noted in our betting preview, Milroe has been a lethal threat down field threat all season long. His ability to hit chunk passes have offset some other issues for the Crimson Tide offense and can challenge a Wolverines defense that hasn't faced too many high octane passing offenses.
Jalen Milroe has emerged after being benched in Week 3 following Alabama's lone loss. The Crimson Tide offensive line is outside the top 100 in sacks allowed and Milroe has put himself in some dangerous situations, but the offense has become far more explosive, evident in the team's win against Georgia where the team average nearly yards per dropback.
Milroe is completing 53% of his passes of 20 or more yards with 24 big time throws to zero turnover worthy plays, per PFF.
Alabama vs. Michigan Best Bet
Check out our deep dive for more, but I landed on the Wolverines to win this tightly contested game that is being lined as a near-coin flip.
With that being said, I'm going to trust McCarthy to navigate the Crimson Tide defense and get the team's first CFP victory. The Michigan offense has been the more reliable unit all season long, and McCarthy has been as efficient as possible with the ball throwing.
McCarthy is averaging more than nine yards per pass attempt and has completed 74% of his passes from all over the field. McCarthy is completing 54% of his deep passes this season with a 13-2 big time throw to turnover worthy play ratio and is completing 83% of his passes inside of 10 yards.
I'm not overlooking that McCarthy reportedly had an ankle injury suffered against Penn State, and now has more time off than ever to get right.
While many have jumped on the Alabama bandwagon following the win against Georgia, I can't help but look at the whole body of work and take the better team to win at a cheap price.
Best Prop Bet For Alabama vs. Michigan
In our player prop deep dive, I targeted Michigan tight end Colston Loveland and his over receiving yards as one of my favorite betting angles. Here's what I said:
Michigan doesn't throw often, but when it does it's incredibly effective, top five in EPA/Pass. The Wolverines passing game is top 10 in yards per pass attempt and completion percentage.
I respect the Crimson Tide passing game quite a bit, but I believe that the Michigan offense will be able to find at least baseline level success through the air, which is why I'm targeting the tight end Loveland in the player prop market.
Loveland has emerged as a key cog in the Michigan offense, hauling in 40 catches on 56 targets and a monster after catch, averaging nearly five yards after the catch. I don't trust Michigan to hit deep shots, but rather focus on methodically working down the field, which should lead to a handful of Loveland targets.
This number remains at his season average, but in the CFP, I expect the Michigan offense to feature its most reliable weapons.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!