Tradition-Rich Football Schools to Meet in Citrus Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan Picks

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 6:52 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 6:52 PM UTC

Today, we look for a defensive battle between a pair of tradition-rich football schools. As the Citrus Bowl will host a top match with Florida vs. Michigan, check our college football pick inside.

<p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="330" src="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/video/embed/?videoId=30754" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2960439, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p> <p><strong>College Football Pick:</strong> Florida +4.5<br /> <strong>Best Line Offered:</strong> <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=3876&amp;book=Heritage" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Play this game at Heritage">at Heritage</a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Florida vs. Michigan 1:00PM ET </strong><br /> Though no long range weather forecast is available for this game at this writing, the assumption is for good weather in Orlando <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/college-football/outback-bowl-picks-well-balanced-northwestern-keep-close-against-tennessee/67852/" target="_blank" title="Outback Bowl Free Picks Here">on January 1st</a>. This is the 2nd Bowl game of the day and the 2nd meeting of Big 10 vs. SEC. The Florida Gators line up against the Michigan Wolverines for this 1:00 ET. <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/florida-gators-vs-michigan-wolverines-2960439/" target="_blank" title="Shop Gators-Wolverines Odds">Michigan is a 4- point favorite in the contest</a>. Each of these teams made remarkable strides with new coaches in out-performing their records of the previous 2 seasons. Today, we look for a defensive battle between a pair of tradition-rich football schools. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Betting Preview</strong><br /> The Brady-Hoke era ended in Ann Arbor with a run of 4 years in which the Wolverines recorded fewer victories in each season. The nadir of their discontent came in 2014 with a 5-7 SU ATS record. It was at that time that the call went out to Jim Harbaugh, a Michigan alumnus, from the middle ‘80s. In his most recent 4 seasons at the helm of the San Fran 49ers, his teams won 49 games. On the heels of successful seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Stanford, his hire was a no-brainer. Harbaugh returned his Wolves to the concept of strong running game and staunch defense.  There were rewards early on for the Michigan faithful. After dropping a 7 point opening night decision as 6 point dog at Utah, the Wolves reeled off 5 consecutive victories in which they outscored the opposition 160-14.  It looked like a 6th straight victory was in the offing before the last second Michigan St. miracle resulted in a (27-23) rivalry loss for the Wolves. Though “undefeated letdown” did not result, the Wolves were clearly not the same defensive team down the stretch. They allowed 170 points in the final 6 games an average of 28 PPG, which was far from the defensive dominance in the first half of the season. A 42-13 thumping by arch-rival Ohio St. concluded the season.</p> <p>Florida made a remarkable turnaround under 1st year HC McElwain. The former OC at Alabama had just completed a remarkable turnaround at Colorado St., in which he lifted the Rams from 4 to 8 to 10 wins. He quickly answered the call to return to the SEC after the 4 year Will Muschamp experiment resulted in a combined record of 11-13 SU the previous 2 seasons. With only 10 RS, it appeared as if there might be a needed honeymoon for the Gators. But, McElwain began to work his magic immediately, positing a strong 10-3 SU, 8-4 ATS record in his maiden voyage. The 3 losses were to SEC powers LSU, Alabama (in the Championship Game), along with a <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/college-football/college-football-picks-bet-under-43-5-defensive-struggle-between-florida-st-florida/66781/" target="_blank" title="Revisit our winning selection for this game">season-ending rivalry loss to Florida St</a>. by a count of 27-2.  Though the offensive magic has not returned in the first year under McElwain, the Gators clearly qualify as a Super D, allowing just 17/295/4.5, including 121/3.4 overland. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Final Analysis</strong><br /> Key to this selection comes in 3 forms. The SEC pedigree with Florida as underdog, the role of Florida as a Super D dog and perhaps most importantly, the great value that has accrued in this line as a result of the linemaker’s first 6 weeks over-adjustment on the Power Rating of Michigan, who would have actually been a TD underdog at the beginning of the year in this game.  I invite you to put the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/college-football/" target="_blank" title="Live College Football Odds Board">college football odds</a> in your favor and make this huge value play on the Florida Gators as my <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/college-football/" target="_blank" title="Free College Football Picks &amp; Previews">college football pick</a> in the Citrus Bowl.</p>
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