The college football bowl game matchups are set, and it’s time to make a Citrus Bowl betting pick. The Michigan Wolverines will represent the Big Ten Conference in the Citrus Bowl. This year, they will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide out of the Southeastern Conference. Kickoff is set for 1 pm ET on Jan. 1, 2020, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. This is just one month before the kickoff for Super Bowl betting.
Michigan finished in third place in the Big Ten East this season and had an overall record of 9-3. All three of its losses came against ranked teams this season.
The Alabama Crimson Tide will miss the college football playoff this season after going just 10-2. That includes a loss in the Iron Bowl to Auburn. The Citrus Bowl betting spread has Alabama as a seven-point favorite in this game.
Citrus Bowl Picks
Here is a quick breakdown of each of the teams in the game. Then, get our 2020 Citrus Bowl betting pick.
Michigan averaged 33.2 points per game this season while allowing just 19.5 points per game. The problem for Michigan is that it struggled against the top teams it faced this season, including Ohio State.
The Wolverines were blown out by their rival in the regular-season finale. This means they will have to regroup in a hurry. Quarterback Shea Patterson had a terrific season, throwing for over 2,600 yards to lead the Michigan offense.
The loss of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was a devastating blow to the Alabama offense. That said, it still has several future NFL players on its roster. The Crimson Tide averaged more than 48 points per game this season. However, they will need their running game to show up in this bowl.
Running back Najee Harris ran for over 1,000 yards this season and should find some room against Michigan. The Crimson Tide gave up close to 20 points per game this season. That’s unusual for a Nick Saban-coached team.
Citrus Bowl Betting Prediction and Pick: The Michigan Wolverines just can’t beat any of the top teams like Alabama. Take the Crimson Tide -7.0 over the Wolverines in the 2020 Citrus Bowl.
Citrus Bowl History and Facts
The Citrus Bowl was originally named the Tangerine Bowl, and the first-ever game was played in 1946. Then, the name officially changed in 1983. Likewise, this game also became known as the “Little Bowl with the Big Heart.”
Originally, this game featured southern teams from smaller conferences, but it now has conference affiliations with the Big Ten and SEC. Also, the annual payout for this game is over $8.5 million, which is one of the highest payouts for non-CFP bowl games.
Georgia, Michigan, Florida, and Penn State have all made six appearances in the Citrus Bowl, which is tied for the most all-time. Furthermore, Michigan and Tennessee currently have the best records in this game, with each going 4-1 in their first five appearances.
Overall, the SEC has traditionally dominated this game, posting a record of 21-13-1 in its 35 appearances. This game averages close to 60,000 fans per year for the New Year’s Day kickoff.