Jan 1, 2024 Rose Bowl – Michigan vs Alabama

Jan 1, 2024 Rose Bowl – Michigan vs Alabama

posted December 18

The Game


We’ve got a phenomenal Rose Bowl match-up to look forward to on New Year’s Day as Michigan battles Alabama for a spot in the CFP National Championship Game! The Wolverines (13-0) took down Ohio St for what seems like the 167th consecutive time and then shutout Iowa (W 26-CACK) to punch their ticket to the FINAL FOUR. Alabama (12-1) tossed previously undefeated Georgia to the curb in the SEC title game (W 27-24) and have been looking good since their early loss to Texas.

The Details

Michigan -1.5 Alabama (45)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Michigan 23.25 Alabama 21.75

Michigan offense vs Alabama defense

The Wolverines have displayed a balanced attack this season ranking #59 in the nation in rushing offense and #72 thru the air. QB JJ McCarthy has had a fine season (19-4 TD to INT, 74%, 9-2 YPA) but he’s only thrown ONE touchdown pass in his last five games. The WR/TE group doesn’t have anyone that will scare a defense but they’re an efficient bunch led by veteran WR Roman Wilson (662, 11 TD) and it’s important to note that McCarthy does a great job of spreading the ball around to his WR/TE/RBs. RB Blake Corum (1,028, 4.7, 24 TD) is the ultimate ONE-YARD TOUCHDOWN MACHINE especially when facing turds from the MAC or the Big Ten but it’ll be interesting to see how he fares vs a tough ROLL TIDE run defense (#29, 125 YPG). It’s worth noting that Corum averaged 5.9 YPC LY and just 4.7 this season and that #2 RB Donovan Edwards averages a mere 3.5 YPC this season after posting an insane 7.1 YPG mark in 2022. ROLL TIDE has booked 38 sacks (#9 FBS) and recall that McCarthy was sacked four times by a mediocre Iowa pass rush.

Alabama offense vs Michigan defense

QB Jalen Milroe (66%, 23-6 TD to INT, 10.4 YPA; 12 rush TD) continues to improve on a weekly basis and he’s definitely one of the most underappreciated stars in college football. ROLL TIDE was giving up a ton of sacks earlier in the season, and they still rank #125 nationally in that department (43), but Milroe was sacked just eight times in the L5G (Georgia – 4) and he’s been using his legs on designed runs a lot more often making it hard for the pass rushers to get home. Alabama’s got an underrated 1-2 combo at RB in Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams (combined 1,300+ rushing yards, 11 TD) and that gives them a very dangerous rushing attack when you consider what Milroe can do with his legs. The THROW GAME isn’t devastating by any means but Jermaine Burton (22.2 YPC) and Isaiah Bond (621, 4 TD) are a legit combo that always seems to come up with the clutch grabgs when needed. Michigan leads the nation in scoring defense (#1, 9.5 PPG) and have to be respected as an elite unit despite playing a schedule that would make Liberty blush. They’ve got supreme talent at all three levels and their only “weakness” may be the lack of a devastating pass rush (27, #33). The Wolverines haven’t seen a QB anywhere close to Milroe this year in terms of efficiency and dual-threat ability so it’ll take their best game of the year to hold down the ROLL TIDE offense.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

ROLL TIDE contended with the #3 schedule according to the Sagarin ratings whilst Michigan dealt with the #56 slate….Both teams are blessed with excellent PKs that have combined to hit 36/41 FG attempts so we don’t expect any points to be left on the table….ROLL TIDE has won six National Championships under Nick Saban’s watch…..Michigan is in the FINAL FOUR for the 3rd consecutive season…..They’ve lost to Georgia and TCU in their last two appearances.


We’ll roll with the team that has proven pedigree and the one that hasn’t faced a collection of TOMATO CANS. Alabama can deal with the physicality of Michigan. Can the Wolverines deal with the athleticism of ROLL TIDE?


Official play – Alabama +1.5 -108 <sent 5:48pm Dec 18>

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

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Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.