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Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida State Seminoles – Capital One Orange Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 30, 2016

Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida State Seminoles – Capital One Orange Bowl Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 30, 2016

Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida State Seminoles Betting Preview

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL

When: Friday, December 30, 2016, 8:00 PM ET

Line: Michigan Wolverines (-7) vs. Florida State Seminoles (+7); total: 52.5 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: ESPN

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Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (-7)

With two losses in their last three games, the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines are not in the best shape to close out their season in Friday’s Orange Bowl in Miami.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh is probably still bitter about the officiating in the clash with Ohio State for a shot at the Big Ten title, but the Wolverines still lost by just a combined four points in their two recent defeats to close out the regular season. That’s even considering that they’ve suffered the worst offensive lull of the year during that sputtering three-game stretch.

It’s quite crucial that quarterback Wilton Speight be at full strength this Friday. He suffered what’s believed as a broken collarbone during Michigan’s loss to Iowa, but did make a short comeback in the finale versus the Buckeyes and has had about a full month’s worth of rest and tune-ups since.

Then again, not having Speight under center is not the end of the world for the Wolverines, who have a strong running game under their hood and a defense that packs an even bigger punch. Their running backs in De’Veon Smith, Chris Evans, Karan Higdon, Ty Isaac can each do good damage unto the Noles’ front seven, with the four combining for 2,214 rushing yards and 24 Touchdowns this season. As such, Michigan ranked a solid 30th in FBS at 223.3 rushing yards per game.

And then there’s the team’s impenetrable defense, which is second in the nation at just 12.5 points allowed per contest. That D was the best at preventing opponents from extending drives, having limited their opposition to just a 21-percent conversion rate on third downs. It also allowed more than 200 passing yards in a game on just two occasions this season, and we haven’t even discussed the run defense’s side of things yet (more on that later).

You can’t find a stop unit in college football that’s as intimidating as the Wolverines’ right now, especially with stud linebacker Jabrill Peppers having a monster campaign before he presumably enters the NFL draft next year.

Betting on the Florida State Seminoles (+7)

Probably tired of all the Mia Khalifa Crying Jordan memes already plaguing the internet, the No. 11 Florida Seminoles went on a four-game tear to close out their regular season after suffering a gut-wrenching three-point loss to No. 3 Clemson that put their CFP hopes to die in November.

Florida State’s offense was hard to stop in those last four wins, with the team averaging 36.3 points per game during that stretch. Deondre Francois appears to be a worthy successor to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston indeed, as the redshirt freshman quarterback threw for a superb 3,128 yards with 18 passing touchdowns to just six picks in his maiden campaign.

Still, FSU wouldn’t be where it is now without star running back Dalvin Cook, who was an early-season Heisman candidate himself after racking up 1,620 rushing yards and 18 TDs this season. He also has eight 100-yard performances over his last nine starts, and he even went up against tough run defenses from Clemson and Florida during that span.

However, Michigan’s 13th-best run defense in the country is like no other, one that has allowed just 3.14 yards per carry to the opposition this season. Cook has not faced such an imposing D in the ACC this year, and neither has his fellow young QB Francois just the same.

What’s worse is that the Seminoles are the fifth-worst team in FBS when it comes to getting flagged, averaging nearly eight penalties for 74 negative yards this season. The Wolverines, on the other hand, have not committed more than eight penalties in any of their 12 regular-season contests.

Writer’s Prediction

The Wolverines (-7) feast on the fingertips of the Seminoles, 28-17.

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Written by Mark

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