Outback Bowl Prediction: South Carolina vs. Michigan

Last Updated: 2018-01-01

outback bowl free pickWe’re still spinning our wheels in the college bowl games, going 18-17 in every game so far, now we’re needing to finish strong to come out ahead in the bowl season. We’ll begin Monday’s New Year’s Day schedule with the Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina in Tampa. The Wolverines are favored by 8 and the total is 42.

Interesting game here from a betting perspective, as the wise guys are on the under pretty good, even though four of the last five bowl games with a total of 42 or less have gone over the number. The Wolverines openedas 8 to 8.5 point favorites and the line has remained pretty steady, as bettors are evenly divided on this one and the betting percentages are pretty equal.

Michigan averaged 25.7 points per game against teams who allowed an average of 24.6 points. The Wolverines never scored more than 36 points in a game, despite playing a couple of weaker teams, but did lose their QB early on and Brandon Peters took over, but was also injured and missed time, but will return for this one. He isn’t great, but better than John O’ Korn.

If the Wolverines have their say, it won’t matter who is under center since Michigan runs 41 times per game and throws 25. In games Michigan is ahead it’s even more pronounced, as they ran 37 times and passed 13 in the win over Minnesota and it was 38 runs to 18 passes in the win over Maryland.

On defense, Michigan allows 9.4 fewer points than their opponents average and struggled a bit against the likes of Ohio State and Penn State, but held average teams in the teens.

South Carolina isn’t a great offensive team by any stretch of the imagination, scoring 2.8 fewer points than their foes allowed, and averaged fewer yards per rush than their foes allowed. The Gamecocks can throw the ball a little bit and have faced defenses better than Michigan, although they didn’t have much success.

South Carolina’s defense is what carries the team, as they allowed more than 30 points just once and that was to Clemson, who scored 34, while South Carolina held Georgia and Texas A & M to 24 points each.

If South Carolina has a little success on the ground this could be a great game and you know Will Muschamp will be looking for a good effort in a return to Florida. Will have to take the under here, as Michigan will run the ball plenty and both defenses are solid and it’s their offenses that kept them from having better seasons.

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