This article is part of our College Football Picks series.
TCU vs. Georgia CFP National Championship Betting Preview
The ninth edition of the College Football Playoff National Championship will feature a matchup between Big 12 runner-up TCU and SEC Champion Georgia. The Bulldogs come into the National Championship game a perfect 14-0 following a nail-biting 42-41 win over Ohio State in the semi-final. The Horned Frogs come into the game with a 13-1 record, only having lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game. TCU is coming off a big 51-45 win over Michigan where they were an eight-point underdog at kickoff and went up by as much as 19-points late in the third quarter.
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TCU vs Georgia Betting Odds for CFP National Championship
Spread: Georgia -12.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Total: 62.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Georgia -430; TCU +330 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
This line opened at Georgia -13.5 on most major books and has since gone down a bit to -12.5 as TCU has received 81% of bets (via Action Network). With such little movement despite such a large bet-percentage from the public, it indicates a lot of sharp and big-money bettors are continuing to roll in for Georgia.
TCU vs Georgia Betting Picks for CFP National Championship Game
Both TCU and Georgia feature top-10 scoring offenses in the country with TCU in fifth scoring 41.1 points per game and Georgia just behind at eighth scoring 39.4 points per game. On the other hand the Georgia defense ranks fifth in the country allowing 14.8 points a game while TCU ranks 64th allowing 26.4 points per game. This overall view of these two teams may hold true in the end but upon further examination, there are a few things that both teams tend to do that may change the final outcome. On the surface, TCU does a fairly good job at protecting their quarterback Max Duggan ranking 52nd in sacks allowed, but when faced with more difficult opponents the offensive line has struggled at times. One thing the offensive line does very well is holding up against a traditional four-man rush however, when faced with an extra rusher, most noticeably against Texas, Kansas State and Michigan the offensive line struggled. The TCU o-line will face off with a Georgia defense that ranks just 82nd in sacks and sparingly tries to manufacture pressure with blitzes, something that could bode well for the Frogs. One of the things that also helps TCU here is the poise of Duggan in the face of danger; while not completely immune to the pains of pressure, Duggan does a fantastic job of making the correct reads and throwing strikes while getting hit in the mouth. Another factor will also be how the TCU offensive line can stack up in the running game. The Horned Frogs boast the 25th-best rushing attack in the nation but will be facing off with a Georgia team that ranks number one against the run. While TCU has some gaudy rushing stats the offensive line at times, specifically against the teams mentioned earlier struggled to get much of a push up front. However, running back Kendre Miller does a fantastic job at finding holes, continually getting positive yards and breaking off big chunks of yardage whenever a hole opens up.
On the other side of the ball Georgia ranks eighth in total offense racking up 494.9 yards per game and TCU ranks just 80th in total defense allowing 395.3 yards per game. The success of the Georgia offense is largely in thanks to a plethora of talent. The Bulldogs feature a 3-headed-monster in the rushing attack with Kenny McIntosh, Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton all of who have rushed for over 500 yards with an average of over 5.0 yards per carry. The passing attack led by super-senior and Heisman finalist Stetson Bennett features maybe the best tight end in college football, Brock Bowers and a pair of formidable receivers in Ladd McConkey and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. Over the past two games, TCU has been extremely susceptible to big plays as they allowed a total of 10 passes and six runs of over 20 yards combined. The Frogs may be hard-pressed here to stop Georgia but one thing they do well is force turnovers as they are 20th in the country in turnover margin while Georgia comes in at 79th.
National Championship Game Best Bet: Over 62.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
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TCU vs Georgia Predictions for CFP National Championship Game
With TCU repeatedly giving up the big play in recent weeks and the overall dominance from the Georgia offense over the course of the season, the Frogs may have a tough time stopping Georgia from scoring. The consistency at which the Frogs have given up the big play also makes the over more enticing as the quick scores that come as a result will help the total go over despite the balanced attack both teams employ. On the other side of the ball, while Georgia will likely be able to get stops, they have been vulnerable giving up 30-plus points in back-to-back games. Both of those teams, LSU and Ohio State, had a significant amount of talent and play-making ability offensively, something TCU also has in Duggan, Miller and Quentin Johnston (a top receiver prospect in this year's NFL draft). While I don't think TCU has enough to get the job done and take down the giant, I think they will do enough to hang around and push the total over 62.5.