College football’s last four-team playoff kicks off Monday evening as the Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) face off against the Michigan Wolverines (13-0) New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl at 5 pm.
Alabama has made eight of the 10 total playoffs under the current format, winning three national championships and finishing runners up three other times. While the program has experienced this multiple times before, many Crimson Tide players are playing in their first semi-final contest after Alabama was not selected following the 2022 season.
The Wolverines are playing in their third-straight CFB playoff game. Michigan has yet to win a playoff contest, but the squad is the top-ranked participant this season for the first time. That’s thanks to Michigan overcoming multiple adversities this season and Alabama’s upset of Georgia in the SEC Championship game.
With a trip to the National Championship game on the line, which players can fans – and bettors – expect to make a difference in the Rose Bowl? Read on as we reveal our top three player prop bets and our best overall bet in the Alabama versus Michigan national semi-final contest Monday.
After losing the starting spot early in the season, Alabama QB Jalen Milroe has asserted his presence for the Crimson Tide this season. The sophomore signal caller from Katy, Texas, has completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,718 yards and 23 TDs against six interceptions.
To cover this player prop bet, Milroe needs to surpass 194 passing yards – a feat he did in eight of his 12 outings this season. Prior to playing Georgia in the SEC Championship, Milroe had achieved that marker in seven straight games, and the second-year player nearly did so against the Bulldogs as he threw for 192 yards and two TDs.
Expect Milroe to cover this player prop bet against the Wolverines. Michigan allowed an average of 152 passing yards to opponents this season, shutting down both the running and the passing attacks of opponents. The Crimson Tide presents a different challenge, however, and Milroe will aid his team’s cause by throwing for more than 200 yards in this contest.
Michigan rode RB Blake Corum to their second-straight undefeated regular season. Corum, a senior tailback from Marshall, Virginia, recorded 1,028 rushing yards and 24 TDs this season despite sharing the workload with Donovan Edwards in 2023.
With Corum serving as the team’s primary runner, bettors can expect the Wolverines to continue to give him the football against Alabama. The Crimson Tide are allowing nearly 125 rushing yards to opponents per game, giving Michigan fans (and bettors) a glimmer of hope Corum can carry his team to a victory. Bettors should at the least expect Corum to cover this prop bet.
With Milroe expected to have a solid outing for the Crimson Tide, bettors should look at parlaying that wager with one on Alabama WR Jermaine Burton. In 2023, Burton led the Tide with 777 receiving yards and eight receiving TDs, serving as one of Milroe’s top targets this year.
Against Michigan, expect Burton to at least eclipse the 50.5 receiving yards needed to successfully cover this player prop bet. Outside of a quiet game against Georgia, the Tide WR had recorded 60 or more receiving yards in six of his past seven outings. This is especially true as the Wolverines will look to shut down Alabama’s rushing attack.
Oddsmakers are predicting a close, low-scoring game when Alabama meets Michigan in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. However, the Wolverines have allowed at least this figure in both of their previous semi-final appearances.
Further, Michigan’s biggest contest of the season – against hated rival Ohio State – yielded a final outcome of 54 points. And the Crimson Tide’s last six games have all been over 45 points, giving bettors encouragement that this game will also eclipse the 45-point mark needed to successfully cover this bet.
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