The College Football playoff is set to kick off on Friday – but at this point, with COVID spreading rapidly across the country, we can only hope that these games are played on time. Five bowl games (including the Military Bowl presented by Peraton) have already been canceled this postseason, and there are sure to be more to come. Let’s just hope that this write-up will actually hold some weight.
Welcome to Playoff Semifinal Week.
1️⃣ @AlabamaFTBL ? 4️⃣ @GoBearcatsFB in the @CottonBowlGame.
2️⃣ @UMichFootball ? 3️⃣ @GeorgiaFootball in the @OrangeBowl.#CFBPlayoff Semifinals. Friday, December 31. #RollTide #GoBlue #GoDawgs #Bearcats
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) December 27, 2021
Our partners at BetOnline.ag will have you covered all week with odds for the big New Years Eve games. Here are the odds to win the championship, and the odds for the exact outcome of the championship:
Odds to Win National Championship
Exact Outcome of National Championship
Georgia defeats Alabama (+195)
Alabama defeats Georgia (+195)
Alabama defeats Michigan (+575)
Michigan defeats Alabama (+700)
Georgia defeats Cincinnati (+1000)
Michigan defeats Cincinnati (+2200)
Cincinnati defeats Georgia (+2200)
Cincinnati defeats Michigan (+3300)
It’s sure to be a good weekend, and an even better championship next Monday. So without further ado, here are my previews and predictions for Friday’s games, brought to you by BetOnline.ag:
Alabama vs. Cincinnati – Cotton Bowl Classic
December 31, 2021 – AT&T Stadium
3:30pm – ESPN
Spread: Alabama -13.5
Total: O/U 57.5
Moneyline: Alabama -500/Cincinnati +395
Alabama is once again at the top of the college football world. They finished the season as the number one team in the country, and it’s thanks to Bryce Young. The 20-year-old sophomore out of Pasadena, California won the 2021 Heisman Trophy, becoming the first Alabama signal-caller in the award’s history to do so. He led the Crimson Tide’s offense with 4,322 passing yards and 43 passing touchdowns, while turning the ball over just four times. Alabama sophomore Will Anderson Jr. was the team’s leader on defense. He is tied for the NCAA lead in sacks with 15.5, and also added 52 tackles to his campaign. Many believe he was snubbed from the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are set be the first non-power five team ever to play in the College Football Playoff. They are led by quarterback Desmond Ridder, who has been a star for Cincinnati over the last four years. Ridder threw for career-highs in passing yards (3,190) and passing touchdowns (30) this season, and led the Bearcats to an undefeated 13-0 record and their second AAC title in as many years.
Being the first non-power five team in the CFP will be quite a challenge for Cincinnati, and I’m not sure they’re ready for it. Nick Saban and Alabama are just made for these games, while Luke Fickell and the Bearcats are not. I am interested to see if the Bearcats put up a fight on offense, because I’m a big fan of Desmond Ridder. However, I think the Tide are going to roll. Alabama wins by 30+.
Prediction: Alabama 52 – Cincinnati 21
Side: Alabama -13.5
Total: OVER 58
Michigan vs. Georgia – Capital One Orange Bowl
December 31, 2021 – Hard Rock Stadium
7:30pm – ESPN
Spread: Georgia -7.5
Total: O/U 45.5
Moneyline: Georgia -285/Michigan +240
After watching the beat down that Alabama puts Cincinnati, it’ll be refreshing to settle in for a closer matchup between Michigan and Georgia. These teams are far closer in skill level than the two in the early game.
Michigan is led by Heisman Trophy finalist and projected number one overall pick Aiden Hutchinson. Hutchinson is tied for 3rd in the NCAA with 14 sacks and has two forced fumbles for the Wolverines. Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh finally got past their kryptonite in Ohio State, and look to be well equipped to win a national title.
The Georgia Bulldogs went wire-to-wire as the number one team in the country until their SEC Championship loss to Alabama. The Dogs defense was dominant as always, allowing just 9.54 points per game. Quarterback Stetson Bennett is the one thing that is truly holding this Georgia team back, and I’m interested to see the kind of leash head coach Kirby Smart will have on him before turning to the once injured J.T. Daniels.
I think this is going to be a hard fought matchup. Wolverines QB Cade McNamara will certainly have his work cut out for him with this Georgia D, but I think he’ll rise to the occasion.
Michigan has exceeded expectations all season long, and they’ll continue to do so on Friday night. I’m going with the upset. Michigan wins and takes on Alabama in the National Championship.
Prediction: Michigan 23 – Georgia 20
Side: Michigan +8.5
Total: UNDER 45
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