Were you not entertained by the two College Football Playoff semifinals? The finale between TCU and Georgia might be challenged to match the excitement level of those two games, but we see it being electric, too, and keeping the scoreboard operator busy.
We’re banking on the continuation of those fireworks. Georgia has allowed 1,016 yards to its past two foes, while TCU has yielded 932 yards to its two previous opponents. The Bulldogs are large betting favorites on oddsboards, with a total in the low 60s.
The yardage and points continue flowing in a fantastic cap to the 2022 campaign.
Georgia vs. TCU Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are current odds from top US sportsbook apps for Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship, with the spread settling in the UGA -13 to -13.5 range by early Monday afternoon.
NCAAF · Mon (1/9) @ 7:45pm ET
|SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA|
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (14-0, 7-7 Against the Spread)
There’s something about late-season games that brings out the best in Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound native of Blackshear, Geo.
A year ago, he led the Dogs to a national championship by throwing for 12 touchdowns with only two interceptions in his final four games.
In his previous three tilts this season, he has nine TDs and a single pick.
Did you catch his reaction Saturday when Ohio State took a 21-7 lead? Cameras flashed to him on the sideline as he hopped off the bench, helmet in hand as if he were ready for anything. Within five minutes, it was a tie game.
The 42-41 triumph over Ohio State was one for the ages, and Bennett went 23-for-34 for a season-high 398 yards, three TDs, and an interception.
The Buckeyes defense had turned to Swiss cheese, yielding 1,465 total yards to its final three foes.
Away from home, TCU has displayed a similar penchant for runaway games, allowing 540 yards at Kansas, 501 at Baylor, 476 at SMU, and 430 at West Virginia.
Georgia did run for 135 yards against the Bucks, but it was mostly split between Kenny McIntosh (70) and Daijun Edwards (58), but neither scored a rushing TD.
No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs (13-1, 10-4 ATS)
Expect tailback Emari Demercado to receive an abundance of TV time, since he hails from Inglewood.
The 5-11, 207-pound senior deserves attention for pounding out triple-digit yardage last weekend against Michigan for only the second time in his career.
Demercado ran 17 times for a career-high 150 yards and one touchdown to pace the Horned Frogs’ powerful ground attack against the Wolverines.
TCU was hardly perfect. It fumbled once and quarterback Max Duggan, a 6-2, 210-pound senior from Council Bluffs, Iowa, was 14-for-29 for 225 yards and two interceptions.
Away from home, both TCU and Georgia have similar turnover margins, so no edge is apparent there. Plus, both Duggan and Bennett own the same top-10 8.9 yards-per-attempt ratios.
On the highway, TCU’s pass defense (a yield of 7.4 yards per throw) is a bit behind Georgia’s (an even 7), so the Bulldogs own a slight edge with Bennett and his receiving corps.
Brock Bowers, a 6-4, 230-pound sophomore tight end, is Bennett’s favorite target, with a team-high 56 catches this season for a 14.1-yard average and six TDs.
However, the TCU secondary had better pay attention to Arian Smith, a 6-foot, 185-pound speedster out of Bradley, Fla., who caught three passes against Ohio State that went for a total of 129 yards.
In each of his three seasons at Georgia, Smith has displayed big-play artistry. Midway through the fourth quarter against the Buckeyes, Smith recorded a 76-yard touchdown catch that ended up cutting the Bulldogs’ deficit to 38-35.
If TCU overplays him, Bowers will go bananas. If the Frogs pay close attention to Bowers, Smith might be freed for two or three — or more — big plays.
CFP National Championship Pick: TCU vs. UGA Going Over
Georgia has failed to cover in three of its past four games, while TCU has won against the number in six of its previous eight. TCU and all those points are tempting, but we opt for another wild shootout.
Six of the past nine Dogs’ tilts, including three in a row, have gone Over their totals. Horned Frogs’ games have cleared totals of 66.5, 69.5 (twice), 70, and 72 points, and that’s how we’re playing this one.
Does the victor hit 50 and the loser at least 30? We say yes.
Again, sticking to our main collegiate bowl/postseason rule, we recommend a half-unit play. In this wacky business, nothing is more important than bankroll consistency and management.
This being a standalone affair does not mean it deserves any extra attention, an inordinate wager, or even a bet. Whether you’re risking a few lira or viewing for entertainment value, enjoy.
Pick: Over 62.5 (-110)