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Alabama vs. Michigan prediction: Pick, best bet for Rose Bowl, College Football Playoff Semifinal

The Crimson Tide meet the Wolverines in the College Football Playoff semifinal. We go over the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook and make a pick.

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide face the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl, which is functioning as the College Football Playoff semifinal. Each team won their respective conference championships. This marks Alabama’s eighth appearance in the CFP, and Michigan’s third. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET from Pasadena, California.

Alabama (12-1, 8-0 SEC) fell to Texas early in the season, but bounced back and put together a dominant 2023 season after working out some kinks at the beginning of the season. The Tide defeated LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and in the SEC title game, Georgia. Their placement in the CFP was a controversial one as they beat out the undefeated Florida State Seminoles. Quarterback Jalen Milroe will continue to start for the Tide. He finished the season with over 2,700 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Running back Jase McClellan is questionable for the game.

Michigan (13-0, 9-0 B1G) was the subject of the biggest scandal in college football this year. The Wolverines were accused of illegally stealing signs from opposing teams, and Jim Harbaugh ended up on the sidelines for just half of Michigan’s regular season games. Michigan’s defense ranked second in the nation in yards allowed per game and first in points allowed per game, and landed at No. 1 in SP+ rankings after championship weekend. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy finished the season with over 2,600 yards, 19 touchdowns, and four interceptions.

Here’s everything you need to know and a pick for the semifinal game.

SP+ Rankings

Alabama: 7 overall, 11 offense, 9 defense
Michigan: 1 overall, 10 offense, 1 defense

List of injuries and players opting out of game

Alabama

WR Ja’Corey Brooks - Out (transfer portal)
RB Jase McClellan - Questionable (foot)

Michigan

RB Leon Franklin - Out (transfer portal)
QB Davis Warren - Questionable (undisclosed)
OL Zak Zinter - Out (leg)

ATS/Total

Against The Spread in 2023

Alabama: 9-4 ATS
Michigan: 7-5-1 ATS

Total in 2023

Alabama: Over 9-3-1
Michigan: Over 6-6-1

Team Pace

Alabama: 27.7 seconds per play
Michigan: 31.0 seconds per play

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Michigan -1.5
Total: 45
Moneyline: Michigan -125, Alabama +105

Weather

61°F, Partly cloudy, 1% chance of rain, 5 MPH winds

Our Best Bet for the Rose Bowl Game

Alabama +1.5

The Crimson Tide started the season on a much different note than they ended it on, and with a month between the SEC Championship and this game to prepare, the Crimson Tide can cover the spread and win this one. Alabama has plenty of experience at this level of play, which Michigan is still hunting for that first CFP win. The worst of the sign-stealing scandal may be behind them, but the Wolverines have yet to play anyone with an offense as strong as Alabama’s this season. Michigan’s weak regular season schedule may come back to bite them here.