Pamela Maldonado is joined by Minty Bets to give her picks for the Cincinnati-Alabama and Georgia-Michigan CFP games.
MINTY BETS: The College Football Playoff semifinals takes place on New Year's Eve. I'm Minty Bets, joined by Pam Maldonado, whose picks have been on fire this entire season, by the way, and she's here to give us her picks for these two matchups. We'll start off with the Cotton Bowl between number-one Alabama versus number-four Cincinnati. The Crimson Tide are 13.5-point point favorites, and the total is 57.5. What do you like in this one, Pam?
PAMELA MALDONADO: I have been fading Cincinnati all season long, but I am finally backing them as underdogs +13.5 against Alabama. Cincinnati and Georgia, they're statistically the exact same team. Now, the level of competition is definitely gonna be in question, but Cincinnati is more vulnerable against that run. They won by 7 points to Navy, losing time of possession 40 minutes to 20 minutes. They won by 8 points to Tulsa, allowing over 300 rushing yards. Alabama doesn't run. They are 77th in rushing yards, with wide receiver John Metchie out, who does lead in receptions. He's second in receiving yards and second in receiving scores. Does head coach Nick Saban turn to the ground game because of that, or is he gonna stick to the passing game, because you have a Heisman quarterback in Bryce Young? I'm gonna say that he sticks to what he knows, what he has the best, and that is in Young.
The problem with that is that, for two straight seasons-- yes, I am going back to 2020-- for two straight season now, the Cincinnati Bearcats have shown that they are one hell of a defense against passing offenses. That secondary can stop anyone. Matchup number one to look out for is Bryce Young against the Cincinnati pass rush, who is top 20 in sacks. Young had to play an absolute perfect game against Georgia. Was it that Nick Saban just owns Georgia, or was that all of a sudden a bad offensive line that just suddenly improved? I'm gonna say that it's not an offensive line that has improved overnight. It doesn't just disappear. Matchup number two is Alabama's wide receivers, like Jameson Williams, versus the Bearcats' backfield. This is going to be a competitive matchup. I do like the underdog. 13.5 is just screaming for you to take Alabama. I also like the under in this game, but if I like the under, it's also because the Bearcats are keeping it close. I will take the Bearcats +13.5.
MINTY BETS: In the Orange Bowl, we've got number-two Michigan versus number-three Georgia. The Bulldogs are 8-point favorites, and the total is 45.5. What do you like in this one, Pam?
PAMELA MALDONADO: I love the under on 45.5 for this matchup. This is Georgia's wheelhouse, playing against a run-heavy offense. Not only did they shut out Arkansas, but they held Kentucky to 13 points, Tennessee to 17 points, limiting all three opponents to less than 75 rushing yards. You're talking about some of the best rushing offenses in the country, and holding them to below 100 rushing yards in every game. The difference here is gonna be the defense. Between those teams and Michigan, Jim Harbaugh, he has a great defense with the Michigan Wolverines. Kentucky and Michigan, they're statistically similar, but the one difference that separates these two is red zone defense specifically.
Both the Bulldogs and the Wolverines, top 10 in opponent points per play, opponent red zone scoring attempts, opponent red zone scores, and in opponent touchdowns allowed. I really want to see Michigan have some success here with both running backs in Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins. I just don't see that that's going to be the case. They're gonna have to turn to quarterback Cade McNamara, but this defense is gonna be what keeps them contending in this matchup, potentially sneak out a win. More so, I just love both defenses here to stop both offenses in the red zone, which is where it's gonna come down to. Give me the under in this matchup.
MINTY BETS: To recap the CFP semifinals, in the Michigan-Georgia game, Pam has the under, and in the 'Bama-Cincy game, Pam has Cincinnati to cover. Bet $1.00 on any game and win $100 free. Sign up now at BetMGM.com/YahooSpecial.