The 2021 College Football Playoff is finally here with huge matchups between the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines, and Alabama Crimson Tide and Cincinnati Bearcats.
Which teams will advance? What are the best bets?
Our VSiN experts Adam Burke, Matt Youmans, Dave Tuley and Bruce Marshall are here with their breakdowns and best wagers on each semifinal.
Orange Bowl: No. 3 Georgia (-7.5, 43.5) vs. No. 2 Michigan
7:30 p.m. ET
Youmans: For three months, Georgia was propped up by the media as an invincible team with a dominant defense; in one game, that perception was exposed as phony. How will coach Kirby Smart and his team respond? The Bulldogs were allowing 6.9 points per game before their defense was blown up in a 41-24 loss to Alabama. Georgia still is getting plenty of respect in the betting market as a favorite of 7.5 to 8 points, mainly because there is some skepticism about the true strength of the Big Ten champs.
Is the long-awaited breakthrough for Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh the real deal? I have some doubts, and dog bettors are taking a leap of faith with Michigan, which physically punished Ohio State before blowing out an outclassed Iowa team 42-3 in the conference title game. Alabama dissected the Georgia defense by using quarterback Bryce Young’s mobility and his speed receivers who stretched the field. Young passed for 421 yards as the Crimson Tide rolled up 536 total yards against a defense that had been surrendering 230 per game. Michigan’s run-first offense is likely to run into more trouble at the line of scrimmage, and quarterback Cade McNamara does not have Young’s talent. The Wolverines need to find success with Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum on the ground to ease the pressure on McNamara.