Vrbo Fiesta Bowl: Michigan vs TCU Betting Odds

Looking for the latest Michigan vs TCU betting odds? It will no doubt be a popular game to bet on. The Vrbo Fiesta Bowl takes on increased luster when the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines and No. 3 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs meet with a place in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Oddsmakers have TCU listed at , which will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Michigan is priced at .

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Michigan vs TCU Betting Odds

Fiesta Bowl Betting Preview: Wolverines (-7.5) vs. TCU

The Vrbo Fiesta Bowl will be broadcast by ESPN on both television and radio. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST.

This is the third occasion where the Fiesta Bowl has served as part of the College Football Playoff. The winner will face either No. 1 Georgia or No. 4 Ohio State, teams that will meet in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31.

Defense: Advantage Wolverines

The Michigan defense allowed only nine touchdowns in 13 games this season. That should day it all when you consider that side of the ball for this Fiesta Bowl matchup. The Horned Frogs have yet to face a defense as formidable as the Wolverines, especially the front four.

Offense: Draw

The Horned Frogs scored 524 points. But Michigan scored 521, and are no slouches with the ball in their possession. TCU ranks 6th in scoring, and the Wolverines are 7th. There is a slight difference in balance: the Horned Frogs had a split of 273/200 in pass yards/rush yards, while Michigan came in at 210/243.

At a fundamental level this game will be a test to see which team can be successful at what they like to do best: TCU tossing slant passes and stretching the field through the air; and Michigan pushing the line of scrimmage to make way for its big run plays.

Quarterback Play: Advantage Horned Frogs

Texas Christian quarterback Max Duggan is good enough that he was nominated as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. That was an amazing accomplishment for a QB who had considering transferring before the season. But Duggan delivered on his promise to head coach Sonny Dykes. He tossed for 30 TD’s and only four interceptions while accumulating more than 3,300 yards passing.

Duggan will attempt to pick apart the Michigan secondary, which is the weakest part of the U of M defense. But, led by the rapid maturation of freshman cornerback Will Johnson and freshman safety Rod Moore, the unit has improved greatly.

Had J.J. McCarthy played almost anywhere but for the Wolverines, he might have challenged Duggan’s passing numbers. But the Maize and Blue under Harbaugh are a run-first, protect the football at all costs operation. Still, McCarthy proved in the win over Ohio State that he can throw the football deep and be accurate.

TCU TCU vs MICH Michigan Moneyline Point Spread Total Points
TCU TCU U 99.5 (-110)
MICH Michigan O 99.5 (-120)
Odds updated: December 31, 4:29pm PST

Special Teams: Advantage Wolverines

There was a time when placekicking in college football came down to two things: hope and pray. That’s when young kickers were rarely skilled enough to boot the ball through the uprights from any distance. But, the advent of great kicking is here, and the Wolverines have the best and most consistent kicker in college football. Jake Moody won the 2021 Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best foot, and in his last two season the Michigan kicker is 49 for 57 on field goal attempts, and has set school and Big 10 records for most makes of 40+ yards. His coach appreciates the weapon he has in Moody.

“Been watching Michigan football since I was a kid,” Jim Harbaugh said earlier this year when Moody beat Illinois with a last-second field goal. “[I’m a] pretty decent historian for Michigan football. I am nominating him for legendary status.”

Coaching: Advantage Wolverines

Much credit is given to the Wolverines physicality in regards to why Michigan holds a 280-74 advantage in the second half of its games this season. In its last eight games, Michigan has only allowed three touchdowns after half time, a figure that staggers the mind.

But being a “second half team” is much more than just conditioning and strength: it also points to an ability by the coaching staff to make adjustments. Wolverines defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and his staff are superb at identifying the game plans of their opponents and shutting down scoring after intermission.

The biggest threat to TCU’s chances may lie in the 20 minutes in the locker room at State Farm Stadium, when Minter and the Michigan staff is scheming second-half strategy to flummox Duggan and the Horned Frog offense.

Our Pick: Wolverines

We’re not sure the 7.5 to 8 points that the Wolverines are giving up is accurate, but we like U of M to win the Fiesta Bowl. The Wolverines run game and their tremendous skill and size advantage in the trenches should bear fruit by the fourth quarter. We expect a close game through three quarters, with Michigan pushing to a win on the ground in the final quarter of the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

Take the Wolverines on the moneyline at -295 from FanDuel Sportsbook. That means a $295 winning bet will win you $100. Or grab those 7.5 or 8 points and bet TCU on the point spread. But you’ll need to lay out a significant stake to net any winnings on that line.


Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.