Last Updated Jan 18, 2023, 8:28 AM

Fiesta Bowl Betting 2023 Odds, Predictions, Preview

The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Michigan Wolverines 51-45 in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl.

Check out last year's coverage here below and tune back in with us soon for the 2023 Fiesta Bowl Odds, Picks and Predictions.

It’s been a dream season for Sonny Dykes and the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU was 200-1 to win the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in the preseason, and many fans would have been happy with a bowl appearance after the program had failed to finish with more than six wins in any of the last three seasons under Gary Patterson

Dykes surpassed all expectations by leading the Horned Frogs to an unbeaten regular season record, and they were still selected to take part in the College Football Playoff after losing the Big 12 Championship Game in overtime against Kansas State.

TCU is an underdog by the college football betting odds against the Big Ten champion Michigan Wolverines, but the Horned Frogs have been doubted and dismissed all season only to rise to the occasion.

The first College Football Playoff Semifinal is the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl. This game will be played on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Michigan Wolverines Betting Prediction

It’s been 25 years since the Michigan Wolverines won a national championship and more than three times as long since the TCU Horned Frogs were national champions. Jim Harbaugh has had the Wolverines on the cusp for the last several years though, while the Horned Frogs are a johnny-come-lately program.

Michigan has last year’s dismantling by Georgia in the Orange Bowl fresh in its mind, and the Wolverines spent the last season knowing just what it takes to reach the pinnacle of college football. That will be the difference and lead to Michigan beating TCU in the Fiesta Bowl in order to make the CFP National Championship Game.

Score Prediction: Michigan 33, TCU 20
Best Bet: Michigan -7.5 (-110)

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Michigan Wolverines Betting Odds

Fiesta Bowl Betting Resources

  • Date: Saturday, December 31, 2022
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: State Farm Stadium
  • Location: Glendale, Arizona
  • Expert Picks

TCU Horned Frogs Betting Analysis

TCU hired Sonny Dykes away from crosstown rival SMU in order to give this dormant offense a spark. The Horned Frogs had been a defense-focused team for the last two decades under Gary Patterson, and it was clear that the program needed a shakeup.

Dykes has proven to be a positive disruptor as Max Duggan totally turned his career around in his final season at TCU.

Duggan was the definition of a mediocre quarterback through his first three seasons at TCU. He did show improvement as a junior in 2021, but there was a reason that Oklahoma transfer Chandler Morris was named the starting quarterback against Colorado in the season opener.

However, Morris was not sharp against the Buffaloes, and that led to Dykes turning to Duggan next week against FCS Tarleton State.

This offense has thrived with Duggan under center and is currently ranked 6th nationally in Offensive SP+. The senior quarterback has completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,321 yards (9.0 YPA) with 30 touchdowns against four interceptions and was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Two-time First Team All-Big 12 WR Quentin Johnston is a receiver that will be playing on Sundays, and he has had the opportunity to get healthy again after being slowed by injury over the second half of the season.

Despite the injury, Johnston leads TCU with 53 receptions for 903 yards and five touchdowns. Taye Barber is another big play threat for Duggan, while Derius Davis and Savion Williams are quality complementary receivers.

Kendre Miller has been one of the most dangerous running backs in the Big 12 this season. Miller has run for 1,342 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging 6.2 YPC, and he has the benefit of running behind two First Team All-Big 12 offensive linemen in Alan Ali and Steve Avila.

That balance has helped make TCU’s offense especially scary, and the Horned Frogs have a potential game changing return man in Derius Davis.

TCU’s defense ranked 33rd in SP+. The Horned Frogs were above average against the pass but just decent against the run, and that’s a concern against a team like Michigan. Linebacker Dee Winters will see a lot of attention and led TCU with 7.5 sacks while being a first team all-conference selection.

Defensive backs Josh Newton and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson both earned similar accolades after recording 10+ pass breakups, but the lack of size along the defensive line needs to be addressed in the game plan.

TCU will be making its first appearance in the College Football Playoff on Saturday. (Getty)

Michigan Wolverines Betting Analysis

Jim Harbaugh had Michigan start the season with a platoon system at quarterback. Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy split series over the first couple games, but it quickly became clear that McCarthy was the best option.

McNamara has already announced that he will transfer to Iowa after McCarthy was an all-conference selection. McCarthy completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,376 yards (8.3 YPA) with 20 touchdowns and three interceptions.

He was only sacked nine times as he is a dangerous runner too, picking up 254 rushing yards (4.2 YPC) and four TDs on the ground.

Star running back Blake Corum will be unavailable in the College Football Playoff after tearing his meniscus in the penultimate game of the regular season.

Corum was a First Team All-Big 12 running back after picking up 1,463 yards (5.9 YPC) and 18 touchdowns in 2022, but Michigan has an excellent replacement in Donovan Edwards.

Although Edwards is dealing with a hand injury, he ran for 872 yards and seven TDs while averaging 7.5 YPC in the regular season.

Edwards carved up Ohio State and Purdue’s defenses in Michigan’s last two games as this offensive line had four all-conference picks led by guard Zak Zinter

Ronnie Bell is the only dangerous threat on the perimeter for Michigan. Bell had 56 receptions for 754 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season.

Cornelius Johnson is a big play threat (15.6 YPR and six TDs), while tight end Luke Schoonmaker was the only other player on the roster with more than 20 receptions.

Michigan’s defense was superb this season, ranking 4th nationally in SP+. The Wolverines were fantastic in pretty much every category, allowing just 13.4 PPG and 277.1 YPG, and the run defense was the second-best in college football.

Although they lost Aidan Hutchinson to the NFL, Mike Morris and Mazi Smith were both First Team All-Big Ten defensive linemen and shut down ground games.

D.J. Turner was an excellent defensive back and earned all-conference honors with 10+ pass breakups, and it’s hard to find a weak link at any level on this defense.

Fiesta Bowl Best Bets

Fiesta Bowl History

The Fiesta Bowl started in 1971 and the matchup currently features schools from at-large conferences. The game takes place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona as the previous venue for this contest was Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona from 1971-2006. This game was named the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl, IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and Vizio Fiesta Bowl prior to BattleFrog acquiring sponsorship rights in 2015. 

Ohio State won straight four appearances in the Fiesta Bowl from 2002-2015, until that streak ended in the 2016 college football playoff in a 31-0 defeat to Clemson. The 'over' has cashed in five of the last eight seasons, while five of the past six bowls have been decided by 10 points or more. Underdogs have cashed in eight of the past 12 bowls, including five teams listed as six-point underdogs or higher that won outright since 2002. 

LSU became the first SEC squad to win the Fiesta Bowl since Tennessee's national championship win over Florida State in 1998. The Tigers rallied past previously undefeated UCF in the 2018 installment, while handing the Knights their first loss in over two seasons.

Ohio State and Clemson squared off in the second College Football Playoff semifinal, a thriller which came down to the very end. The favored Tigers fell behind early by a 16-0 score, but the Tigers showed their championship mettle, firing back ahead with 21 unanswered points. Ohio State clawed back to take a 23-21 lead, but Clemson again answered with a touchdown and two-point conversion to go up 29-23. An interception in the end zone by the Tigers D sealed it in the final minute, as they advanced to face LSU in the national title game.

In 2020, Iowa State doubled up Oregon 34-17 as the favorite hit. And in the 2021 installment, Oklahoma State outlasted Notre Dame as a one-point favorite, winning 37-35. Favorites have cashed in each of the past five Fiesta Bowls, while the 'over' has hit in eight of the past 12 installments.

YearMatchupLine, TotalATS Result
2022TCU Horned Frogs 51 Michigan 45Michigan -7.5, 56Underdog, Over
2021Oklahoma State 37 Notre Dame 35Oklahoma State -1, 45Favorite, Over
2020Iowa State 34 Oregon 17Iowa State -4.5, 57.5Favorite, Under
2019Clemson 29 Ohio State 23Clemson -2.5, 62.5Favorite, Under
2018LSU 40 Central Florida 32LSU -7, 58Favorite, Over
2017Penn State 35 Washington 28Penn State -3, 55Favorite, Over
2016Clemson 31 Ohio State 0Ohio State -1, 56.5Underdog, Under
2015Ohio State 44 Notre Dame 28Ohio State -3.5, 58Favorite, Over
2014Boise State 38 Arizona 30Arizona -2.5, 66Underdog, Over
2013Central Florida 52 Baylor 42Baylor -16.5, 74Underdog, Over
2012Oregon 35 Kansas State 17Oregon -8, 73.5Favorite, Under
2011Oklahoma State 41 Stanford 38 (OT)Oklahoma State -5, 73Underdog, Over
2010Oklahoma 48 Connecticut 20Oklahoma -16, 54Favorite, Over
2009Boise State 17 TCU 10TCU -7, 54.5Underdog, Under
2008Texas 24 Ohio State 21Texas -9.5, 52Underdog, Under
2007West Virginia 48 Oklahoma 28Oklahoma -6, 61Underdog, Over
2006Boise State 43 Oklahoma 42 (OT)Oklahoma -7, 50.5Underdog, Over
2005Ohio State 34 Notre Dame 20Ohio State -4.5, 55.5Favorite, Under
2004Utah 35 Pittsburgh 7Utah -16, 70Favorite, Under
2003Ohio State 35 Kansas State 28Kansas State -6.5, 42.5Underdog, Over
2002Ohio State 31 Miami (FL) 24Miami -12, 48Underdog, Over
2001Oregon 38 Colorado 16Colorado -3, 61.5Underdog, Under
2000Oregon State 41 Notre Dame 9Oregon State -3, 50.5Favorite, Under
1999Nebraska 31 Tennessee 21Nebraska -3.5, 45.5Favorite, Over
1998Tennessee 23 Florida State 16Florida State -5.5, 41.5Underdog, Under
1997Kansas State 35 Syracuse 18Kansas State -4, 48Favorite, Over
1996Penn State 38 Texas 15Texas -1, 54Underdog, Under
1995Nebraska 62 Florida 24Nebraska -3.5, 59.5Favorite, Over
1994Colorado 41 Notre Dame 24Colorado -7, 50Favorite, Over
1993Arizona 29 Miami (FL) 0Miami -5.5, 35Underdog, Under
1992Syracuse 26 Colorado 22Syracuse -2.5, 42Favorite, Over
1991Penn State 42 Tennessee 17Penn State -4, 45Favorite, Over
1990Louisville 24 Alabama 7Alabama -8.5, 35Underdog, Over
1989Florida State 41 Nebraska 17Florida State -3.5, 53Favorite, Over
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