New Year’s Eve was one of the best college football days we’ve ever seen. It featured two dramatic national semi-finals that came down to the wire. TCU and Georgia were able to outlast their competition and will now be meeting in the final at SoFi Stadium on January 9 at 8 PM EST. Georgia will be looking to repeat as national champions while TCU will be looking to go from unranked to national champions in the same season.
We’ll preview the game and give you the best betting odds for this national title matchup.
Georgia Open as Big Favorites
Georgia opened as a 13.5-point favorite over TCU. This isn’t surprising given the substantial difference in national respect these two teams receive. Georgia is the defending champs and has had an undefeated season, while some questioned why TCU made the playoff over Alabama.
Stetson Bennett had one of his best passing games of the season against Ohio State. The quarterback threw for 398 yards and 3 touchdowns, en route to a comeback victory. Bennett performed well in the National Championship last season and has a good track record in big games, which gives Georgia more respect among oddsmakers.
Head coach Kirby Smart will be trying to get his defense in order in preparation for TCU. The Bulldog secondary showed plenty of weaknesses as they got torched by C.J. Stroud through the air. This has led some people to second-guess what they had originally thought of Georgia.
Georgia’s run defense is the best in the nation in yards allowed per game. They were stout once again against Ohio State. They’ll face another Heisman Finalist in their next game. This time it will be TCU’s Max Duggan, who will have a lot of attempts through the air.
TCU Trying to Cap Off Incredible Underdog Story
If TCU ends up winning the National Championship they will have gone through insurmountable odds to do so. The Horned Frogs weren’t ranked until Week 6 of the college football season. Unlike Georgia, TCU was not one of the favorites coming into the year. Many expected TCU’s surprisingly winning ways to come to an abrupt end. It never happened.
TCU plays in the Big 12, which is a high-scoring conference. They’ve gotten here with an air raid offense. Max Duggan is their guy under the center. The quarterback was a Heisman finalist but looked shaky at times during the national semi-final. Duggan threw a couple of picks but was able to make big throws when it mattered most, helping lead his team to the national title.
Duggan will need to have a better game efficiency-wise. He completed 14 of 29 passes against Michigan. If Sonny Dykes isn’t able to establish the running game he’ll need his star quarterback to be comfortable throwing the ball downfield.
It was TCU’s defense that won them the game against Michigan. The unit forced three turnovers including two that were returned for touchdowns. Bud Clark got the scoring started by returning an errant J.J. McCarthy throw for a touchdown.
The Horned Frogs were 8 point underdogs against Michigan. They’ve been here before and will be looking to capitalize again.
TCU vs Michigan Early Betting Odds
|O 62.5 (-105)
|U 62.5 (-115)
TCU has done great against the spread this season, going 10-3-1. Georgia, on the other hand, is 7-7. Given how big of an underdog TCU is it would be smart to take them in the spread.
Both semi-final games hit the over relatively easily. The over should hit again in this one. There are playmakers on each side of the ball, which means splash plays should come relatively easily.
Georgia is the safest moneyline bet, but there’s not much value there. At -490, they are huge favorites to win the national championship. It isn’t such a bad idea to lay some money on Sonny Dykes’ side’s moneyline, which is listed at +365.
These odds are still early. With the game set to take place in about a week, there’s plenty of time for the odds to shift.
Check out our college football page if you’d like to learn different ways to bet on the sport.