College Football Playoff Odds & Predictions: It’s Down To Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and Ohio State

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What. A. Weekend. We saw USC fall to Utah on Friday night. Then on Saturday, TCU fell to Kansas State in overtime. With two of the top four teams in the CFP rankings losing, there was no telling what the CFP committee would do Sunday and how the weekend would impact national championship odds.

But the committee didn’t do anything crazy and selected Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and Ohio State. With the final four established, the odds of winning the national championship have adjusted at sportsbooks, and opening odds are up at sportsbooks for the CFP semifinal games.

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CFP Semifinal: Vrbo Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl will be the first time Michigan (13-0 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) has played TCU (12-1 SU, 9-3-1 ATS):

TCU TCU vs MICH Michigan Odds NCAAF Odds

NCAAF · Sat (12/31) @ 4:00pm ET

TCU TCU at MICH Michigan
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ

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The game plan for Michigan will likely be the same as it’s been all season long—dominate on defense and run the bowl down their throats. With how TCU struggled against the K-State run game in the Big 12 title game, there is no reason for the Wolverines to do otherwise.

As for TCU, it will likely take a complete team effort for the Horned Frogs to pull off the upset. They will need the defense to slow down the run game and force Michigan to pass more than the Wolverines want to. As for the offense, Max Duggan will need to be at his best to beat the most formidable defense he’s faced all year.

But if TCU can turn this game into a shootout, the Horned Frogs may have the advantage.

CFP Semifinal: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Georgia (13-0 SU, 7-6 ATS) and Ohio State (11-1 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) have faced off only once before, in the 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl, a game the Bulldogs won 21-14:

OSU Ohio State vs UGA Georgia Odds NCAAF Odds

NCAAF · Sat (12/31) @ 8:00pm ET

OSU Ohio State at UGA Georgia
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

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Georgia has been the most dominant team in the country this season on both sides of the ball. Their offense is balanced, efficient, and productive. They are just as capable of running the ball as they are throwing it. But with one of the best defenses in the country, the offense does not have to do much to secure a win usually. However, the Bulldogs have not faced an offense as prolific and talented as Ohio State’s.

The Buckeye offense is capable of putting up points quickly and often. Their defense is just as capable of keeping opponents from doing the same. After watching LSU throw for 500 yards in the SEC title game against Georgia, it would not be shocking to see Ohio State throw early and often.

Odds to win College Football Championship

College football championship odds are current as of December 5:

National Championship-- 2022/23DraftKingsBetMGMCaesars: Code: TODAY15PointsBet
Georgia-130-145-135-135
Michigan+280+300+290+300
Ohio State+360+350+350+350
TCU+1800+1600+1600+1600

With both USC and TCU losing their conference title games, the potential for chaos certainly existed. USC’s fate was inevitable; the Trojans would fall out of the top four. But would TCU also drop out and open the door for a two-loss Alabama team to make history (as the first two-loss team to qualify for the CFP)? Ohio State was moving up, but how far?

As it turns out, the committee didn’t do anything crazy. TCU got credit for having an undefeated regular season and remained at No. 3 despite the loss, while Ohio State moved into the No. 4 slot.

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National Championship Odds History

Teams20212020201920182017201620152014
Georgia+135+275
Alabama+120-200-220+150-225+100+100
Michigan+750
Cincinnati+1400
Ohio State+1000+300+300+600
Clemson+225+200+250+275+800+600
Notre Dame+2500+1200
LSU+140
Oklahoma+1500+1400+450+225
Washington+1500
Michigan State+700
Florida State+800
Oregon+180

It is hard to make a case against Georgia—which helps explain why they are such heavy favorites. But the betting favorite (No. 1 seed) has not fared well in the short history of the College Football Playoff. The No. 1 seed has made it to the national championship game six times but went on to it just twice.

But this Georgia team is so dominant….Maybe, but so was Alabama during the 2016 and ’18 seasons. Those Bama squads had shorter national championship odds than this year’s Georgia team has but lost in the national championship game.

Okay, so maybe the Bulldogs don’t have it locked down. But surely, there is no point in betting on TCU, right? Not necessarily. In the eight-year history of the CFP, the No. 4 seed went on to win the national championship twice (Ohio State, 2014 season; Alabama, 2017 season).

However, it is worth noting that neither had the longest odds among the four remaining teams; Alabama was even the favorite despite being the No. 4 seed.

Betting Analysis

Georgia has been getting the job done on both sides of the ball this season. At the same time, there were a couple of contests where they did not bring their “A” game and were in danger of losing. But championship-caliber teams know how to win even when they do not play their best.

Michigan’s defense and run game will give them an edge against TCU and allow them to compete with Georgia or Ohio State in the title game, assuming they beat TCU. We already know they can beat Ohio State but moving the ball against Georgia will not be easy.

If Ohio State can emulate the success in the passing game that LSU had in the SEC title game, the Buckeyes could upset Georgia. But their best shot at a national title would be against TCU.

As for the Horned Frogs, they’ve been playing above and beyond expectations all year long. Can they do so again? It’s hard to say yes when considering the caliber of teams they’ll be facing, but it is also hard to say no.

Our Pick: Michigan

Georgia will be tough to beat, but with minus odds, there isn’t much value in betting on them. Of the other three teams, Michigan’s run game and defense give them the best shot at beating the Bulldogs in the title game.

Dark Horse: Ohio State

The Buckeyes have a solid defense, and if their passing game can play half as good as LSU’s did against the Bulldogs, they might make the title game. They’ll have an excellent chance to win against either Michigan or TCU.

Longshot: TCU, of course.

Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs have pulled off some incredible wins this season. Had Sonny Dykes given the ball to Duggan at the goal line in overtime, TCU may have won the Big 12 title game. At +1800, it’s worth skipping a latte or two and putting a few bucks on them—but only if your office makes excellent coffee.

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College Football Betting 101

Are you a new bettor that needs help making sense of the wide world of sports betting? That’s understandable—it can be pretty daunting. Which sportsbook app should you use? Is this welcome bonus better than that one? What is implied probability?

You can find answers to these questions and more on some of the following pages:

Our Tools page contains a lot of helpful information as does the How To Bet On College Football Games page.

 

 

About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Writer and Contributor
Travis Pulver is a Senior Writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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