College Football Playoff: Alabama vs Michigan Rose Bowl betting preview

College Football Playoff: Alabama vs Michigan Rose Bowl betting preview

There’s a plethora of bowl games across the country, but none are more important than two played in the College Football Playoff. The Sugar Bowl will see Texas and Washington clash, while in the Rose Bowl, we have a heavyweight matchup between powerhouses Alabama and Michigan. The kick-off on New Year’s Day is scheduled for 5 PM EST in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide just squeezed into the CFP after a 12-1 season after missing out on it last year. As for the Wolverines, they have the opportunity to avenge their National Championship loss a year ago to Georgia and sit as the top seed heading into the final four. Keep reading for some history of the Rose Bowl and a preview of the game.

Quick Take

  • Alabama faces Michigan next Monday in the Rose Bowl
  • There’s no clear favorite, with both teams sitting at negative odds
  • Who will advance to the National Championship?

Rose Bowl history

The Rose Bowl dates back to 1916 and is actually the most attended bowl game of them all. Just like the Sugar Bowl, it serves as the CFP semifinal once every three years. If New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday, this game is played on a Monday. Ohio State and Penn State are the most previous winners of the Rose Bowl. Bama won it in 2020, beating Notre Dame en route to a national title.


Before the 2023 season even began, there was major doubt that Alabama could get back to the College Football Playoff. Nick Saban didn’t have a clear-cut QB1 to replace Bryce Young and they just didn’t appear to possess the same talented roster as past years. But, after an early loss to Quinn Ewers and Texas, the Crimson Tide ran off 11 straight wins, including an epic last-minute victory over Auburn in the Iron Bowl thanks to a Jalen Milroe hail mary in the dying seconds.

Milroe didn’t shine from the jump, but he really started to find himself as the season went on. The youngster was a force in more ways than one, completing 65.5% of his passes for 2,718 yards and 23 touchdowns against six interceptions. He also ran for 12 scores. Milroe came up big in the SEC Championship, going 13 for 23 with 192 yards and two passing touchdowns to knock off Georgia in shocking fashion. Bama doesn’t shine in any particular area offensively but they have some great weapons, including running backs Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams. Isaiah Bond and Jermaine Burton are also important pieces for Milroe out wide. Defensively, Alabama only allows 18.4 PPG. The Tide are sitting at -105 odds for the Rose Bowl at Bodog.


Drama was surrounding Michigan towards the end of the season due to the sign-stealing scandal, which resulted in several staffers getting let go and head coach Jim Harbaugh serving a three-game suspension. But, it didn’t faze the Wolverines, who kept it rolling without Harbaugh. QB JJ McCarthy was solid all year, completing 74.2% of his passes for 2,630 yards and 19 touchdowns against only four interceptions. 

Blake Corum was arguably the star of the offense at running back, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark with 24 touchdowns and 4.7 yards per carry. Donovan Mitchell also proved to be productive as the second back, while out wide, Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson combined for over 80 catches. The Wolverines are a very complete team who also conceded a mere 9.5 points per game. Alabama has their work cut out for them. Even though the odds aren’t exactly favoring Michigan that much at football betting sites, they’re definitely seen as the favorite on New Year’s Day.