By way of coming back to steal a win against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the semifinal round, Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs will attempt to become the first team to ever repeat since the College Football Playoff came into existence when they run with the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs in the National Championship Game. A pair of Heisman finalists will square off against one another with Max Duggan leading the charge for the Horny Toads while Stetson Bennet commandeers the ship for the reigning champion Dawgs. Though both offenses rate out amongst the best in the nation, the betting market looks to believe points will be tougher to come by in the title game than they were in the semis. It’s also backing the Horned Frogs like it took a glance at Biff’s Almanac and already knows the final score. While I respect the heck out of what TCU’s been able to do this season, I got a feeling it all comes to a crashing halt and the Bulldogs reign supreme.
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Date and Time: Monday, January 9, 2023 at 7:30 PM EST
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
TV Coverage: ESPN
PointsBet Sportsbook opened the betting line with the Georgia Bulldogs installed 13.5-point favorites and the total set at 64. All we’ve seen since is the mass support TCU has received from college football bettors. So much so that the number to beat is down a full point to +12.5 by way of the Horned Frogs taking in nearly 80 percent of the bets and over 70 percent of the money. A complete swap after UGA was the favored side by the marketplace in the semis versus Ohio State; a game they ultimately won at the last second and never came close to covering what ended up being a 4.5-point spread. The Dawgs have gone off the board favored to win all 14 of their played games to date and stands 7-7 against the spread in those contests. As for TCU, it’s taken back points four times to date and stands 3-1 SU and ATS in those matchups with the lone defeat coming in overtime of the Big 12 title game to Kansas State.
The total has seen a heavy dose of over money infiltrate the market yet the number to beat has headed south regardless of over 80 percent of the bets and money coming in otherwise. Georgia’s elite defense was just embarrassed by one of the best-rounded offenses in the nation. TCU’s is very good but doesn’t sport the same caliber of weapons in mass as the Buckeyes. This will be the Horned Frogs toughest test to date by a country mile!
Everything will once again revolve around Heisman Trophy candidate Max Duggan who combined for 282 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in the semis against the Michigan Wolverines. He also threw a pair of crucial picks. While stud wide receiver Quentin Johnson was able to get his going off for 163 yards and a tuddy, the Horned Frogs will need a larger contribution from other players if it’s to get the best of UGA’s defense. If not for Emari Demercado rising to the occasion with 150 yards and a score on the ground with Kendre Miller more or less nonexistent (57 yards on 8 carries), TCU wouldn’t be in the position it finds itself right now. Limiting turnovers will be crucial and the Frogs got away with coughing it up three times against the Wolverines.
TCU served up 186 yards and a 4.7 yard per carry average to Michigan who was playing without its Heisman Trophy candidate running back. Now it will be forced to deal with the Dawgs top-20 ranked rushing attack spearheaded by none other than Kenny McIntosh who made the most of his five carries last week by turning them into 70 scoreless yards. More importantly, the Horned Frogs will be forced to deal with one of if not the best offensive lines in the country which should have a field day opening holes for the Dawgs stable of running backs to take advantage of. I got a feeling Georgia is readily able to instill its will in this contest and shorten it up to the point of domination. Brock Bowers failing to show last week will make it even tougher to limit this offense.
I would’ve been more inclined to back TCU in the title game had the Buckeyes ultimately held on to advance. Unlike many a college football bettor, I don’t like the way this game shapes up for the Horned Frogs who will have all kinds of issues preventing the Dawgs from doing as they please offensively. On the other side of the ball, it’s going to be a struggle for Duggan and co. to consistently move the football or come up with big chunk plays against the Dawgs stop unit. Watching Alabama toy with Kansas State in a game the Wildcats were backed heavily by the betting market lets it be known – at least in my opinion – the SEC is a cut above the Big 12. I firmly expect it to once again play out as such Monday night.
Get excited Georgia fans; you’re winning and covering another one!
Bet the Championship Game between TCU and Georgia at PointsBet Sportsbook