Best Bets for College Football Playoff National Championship, TCU vs Georgia

By Chris Hughes   January 8, 2023 

Best Bets for College Football Playoff National Championship, TCU vs Georgia

We’re just catching our breath from the most thrilling pair of College Football Playoff semifinal games we’ve seen in the nine-year history of the format, as both TCU vs. Michigan and Ohio State vs. Georgia weren’t decided until the final plays. 

No. 3 TCU took advantage of several Michigan miscues, including two pick-sixes and a fumble at the goal line to upset No. 2 Michigan, 51-45, in the Fiesta Bowl.

At the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, No. 1 Georgia was down 38-24 going into the fourth quarter but took a 42-41 lead with 54 seconds remaining. C.J. Stroud drove Ohio State into field-goal range, but Noah Ruggles’ 50-yard field-goal attempt was way off the mark as time expired. Coincidentally, the attempt hit the ground just as the clock struck midnight Eastern time, signifying the start of 2023. 

That leaves TCU, who was undefeated during the regular season but lost in overtime to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game, one win away from the school’s first national championship since 1938.

Georgia, the SEC champions, are now 14-0 after surviving against the Buckeyes and has a chance to be the first back-to-back national champions of the College Football Playoff era. 

TCU opened at a 13.5-point underdog, and that number has been bet down to 12.5 in early action. We’re going to take a look at best bets for the College Football Playoff national championship game from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California on Monday night. 

TCU vs. Georgia Best Bet: Georgia -12.5 (BetMGM)

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett said this week that “it’s pretty apparent” that the Bulldogs can play better than they did against Ohio State. While Bennett was referring to the offense, it’s the Bulldogs’ defense that has allowed 30 and 41 points in its last two games after averaging fewer than 13 during the regular season. Georgia got away with one against Ohio State, and they know it. 

Michigan’s defense was just as good as Georgia’s during the regular season but allowed 51 to TCU. Two of those touchdowns were defensive, however, and the Horned Frogs had scored 29 or fewer points in three of its previous four games. In addition, the previous four national championship games have been decided by 15 points or more. 

While TCU is a great football team, we’re not expecting another stinker from Georgia. They are also unlikely to make as many mistakes as Michigan made in the Fiesta Bowl. 

TCU vs. Georgia Best Bet: TCU 1st Quarter Total, Over 5.5 Points (DraftKings)

TCU had a touchdown in the first quarter in 11 of its 14 games this season. They’re also a prolific offensive team led by Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan, who has thrown for 32 touchdowns and six interceptions this year. It’s of course possible Georgia’s defense stops them, but the Bulldogs’ pass defense is giving up over 200 yards per game, so they can be susceptible to big plays by Duggan. Wide receiver Quentin Johnston also has over 1,000 yards on the season, making he and Duggan one of the best WR-QB duos in college football this year. 


Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws the ball past Michigan Wolverines defensive back Rod Moore (19) during the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws the ball past Michigan Wolverines defensive back Rod Moore (19) during the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

TCU head coach Sonny Dykes also said he noticed Ohio State’s ability to make big plays in the passing game in the semifinal. While he expects the Bulldogs to learn from the mistakes they made, for an even-money bet, there’s big-time value on the Horned Frogs in this one.

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H2: TCU vs. Georgia Best Bet: Stetson Bennett Touchdown Total, Over 1.5 (FanDuel)

Georgia has a prolific rushing attack, but quarterback Stetson Bennett has been very productive in the passing game after a relatively slow start to the season. In his last eight games, Bennett has thrown for at least two touchdowns in seven of them. He had four touchdown passes in the SEC championship against LSU and threw for three against the Buckeyes on New Year’s Eve. 

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Dating back to last season, Bennett has thrown for at least two touchdowns in his previous five postseason games. In last year’s title game, he had two TD throws vs. Alabama to go along with three against Michigan in the semifinal and three against the Crimson Tide in the 2021 SEC Championship.

With the former walk-on ending his prolific career in this game, expect him to be ready to empty the tank and do everything he can to lead the Bulldogs to a second-straight national championship. The oddsmakers agree, putting it at -215 odds that he will throw over 1.5 TDs, but that number still shouldn’t scare you away from backing Bennett here.

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