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Fiesta Bowl Projections & Expert Picks

The media experts and analytical models don’t have any belief in the Horned Frogs’ underdog story, with near unanimous support for Michigan

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Syndication: Arizona Republic Cheryl Evans/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

College football fans and writers are rarely in full agreement about any subject, however when it comes to projecting the result of the Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal between #2 Michigan Wolverines and #3 TCU Horned Frogs, there is near unanimous consensus: Big Blue is expected to wipe the State Farm Stadium field with the Frogs. DraftKings Sportsbook has TCU as a 7.5 point underdog, with Michigan as a 3-to-1 favorite (-305) to win the game outright. The “Nobody Believes In Us” motivational theory can often be used put the chip on a team’s shoulder to go out and prove the doubters wrong - even when those doubters may be non-existent. In TCU’s case for Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl, this mantra rings true, as nobody believes the Frogs will defeat the Wolverines and advance to the National Championship.

National Media:

Very few even give TCU a chance at covering the 7.5-point spread against Michigan, so shout out to the crew at CBS Sports, with a few projecting a TCU cover against-the-spread, while Shehan Jeyarajah is the only person I’ve seen put his name behind a TCU victory. Although this may simply be to avoid the dreaded unanimous-pick graphic that so often ends up on Freezing Cold Takes when everyone gets it wrong.

Advanced Statistical Models:

Unsurprisingly, the numbers are also not a fan of the Horned Frogs - the same numbers that had TCU as big underdogs vs. Oklahoma and at Texas. It makes logical sense, as Michigan dominated much of its schedule and earned a huge win over Ohio State. Will TCU be able to overcome the advantages that the numbers give the Wolverines?