After a thrilling pair of College Football Playoff semifinal matchups, I am glad that I stayed in for New Year’s Eve this year.
Rather than standing in a tight space in a crowded bar with a bloated cover charge, I was watching two games with tight scores. TCU upset Michigan 51-45 as an 8.5-point underdog, and Georgia beat Ohio State 42-41 thanks to a missed game-ending Buckeyes field goal.
Georgia and TCU now meet in the CFP National Championship Game at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Will Max Duggan have another big game for TCU, or will his luck run out against a Georgia team that has stood atop the rankings nearly all year?
Here’s a closer look at my Georgia vs TCU National Championship best bets.
Georgia vs TCU Odds: CFP National Championship
Caesars Sportsbook opened Georgia as a -13.5 favorite and have yet to move the line. Based on the action that the CFB National Championship odds have received all year, I would be surprised if the line moves more than half a point.
The point total has been set at 62 points, signaling an expectation for a high-scoring game despite Georgia’s stellar defense.
TCU vs Georgia Prediction
Georgia 45, TCU 21
TCU had an impressive win against Michigan, but they are clearly outmatched by a superior Georgia team. Not only are they outmatched, but they were the luckiest team in college football this year.
If a Power 5 team finishes the regular season undefeated, it doesn’t matter how good they are: They will almost always be in the College Football Playoff. TCU played in arguably the weakest Power 5 conference this year and got lucky in many of their games.
Of their 12 regular-season wins, five were by a touchdown or less. Another three were decided by 10 points. If any of those games turned out differently, then Alabama would have made the postseason over TCU.
The Horned Frogs were only a 3-seed in my opinion because the CFP committee didn’t want Ohio State and Michigan to play each other again in the semifinals.
- Dive into the full College Football Playoff Bracket and print out your own copy.
Georgia was a different story this season. Not only did they play the third-toughest schedule — but they remain undefeated. Quarterback Stetson Bennett‘s Bulldogs boast an average scoring margin of +23.9, which is the second best in the FBS. TCU had only the 13th-best average scoring margin behind teams like Air Force and Western Kentucky.
Under head coach Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs are well prepared against tough opponents. They might have gotten lucky against Ohio State in the Peach Bowl, but that shouldn’t distract people from their body of work.
UGA beat LSU 50-30 in the SEC Championship Game and toppled Tennessee 27-13 when Tennessee was viewed by some as a better team. I am not going out on a limb by expecting Georgia to win, but I would be surprised if they win by fewer than 20 points in the CFP National Championship.
TCU vs Georgia Best Bets
Georgia -13.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
Georgia has a strong record of not only winning against tough teams, but covering as well. They covered against LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Oregon this year.
Tennessee and Oregon were better teams than TCU this year, and LSU and Mississippi State were about on par with TCU’s strongest opponents.
I like Georgia at -13.5 to cover against TCU, and I would bet them up to -16.5 as the CFB pick of the day.
Over 63 Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 0.75 Units
When TCU is involved, there is frequently a good deal of scoring. They scored 51 points against a stellar Michigan defense in the Fiesta Bowl, 62 points against Iowa State, 41 points against West Virginia, 43 points against Oklahoma State, and 38 points against Kansas.
In a game where I expect Georgia to jump to an early lead, I expect the Horned Frogs to be aggressive in returning the fire. With TCU clipping at Georgia’s heels, the total should soar over 63 points and I would play it up to 63.5 points.