The Georgia Bulldogs are next in line to become the first repeat College Football Playoff champion with their journey starting Saturday in the Peach Bowl semifinal matchup with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Georgia’s current 15-game winning streak started in last year’s CFP with routs of Michigan and Alabama to claim the program’s first CFP title. The Bulldogs’ are ranked among the best both offensively and defensively making them the No. 1 seed in the tournament and a 6.5-point favorite in this matchup. OSU looks to bounce back after a big loss to rival Michigan in its last game getting into the playoff thanks to USC’s loss in the Pac-12 title game.
On Saturday, December 31, 2022, the Ohio State Buckeyes play the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Kickoff time is set for 8 p.m. ET with television coverage on ESPN.
Peach Bowl Odds
Ohio State Buckeyes +6.5
Georgia Bulldogs -6.5
Georgia hit the board as a 7-point favorite likely due to recent results. The Dawgs hammered LSU 50-30 for an easy cover in the SEC championship while the Buckeyes lost 45-23 at home to Michigan as a 9-point favorite. The number was wagered down to Georgia -6.5 and when people start realizing the Buckeyes are better than their last outing we could see another drop. OSU is catching points for the first time this season and went 1-4 ATS in its last five games. They were a dog in both CFP matchups during the 2020 season beating Clemson outright and falling to Alabama. Though UGA allows just 12.8 points per game the total is up there at 62.5, up two points from the opener.
Ohio State Buckeyes
C.J. Stroud and the offense will need to be on their game for the Buckeyes to advance. They feel lucky to be here since their spot was reserved for USC until the Trojans buckled in the Pac-12 title game. It’s unfair to look at just their last game since Ohio State stormed through its first 11 opponents convincingly. The Buckeyes scored at least 40 points in nine of those games and boast the second-highest scoring offense in the FBS at 44.5 points per game. Stroud is the ringleader with another stellar campaign. He completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 3,340 yards and 37 touchdowns with at least four aerial strikes six times.
OSU racked up a bunch of yards on Michigan’s stingy defense with Stroud throwing for 349 yards and the team totaling nearly 500. However, Stroud threw two of his six interceptions on the season in the game and Buckeyes settled for field goals on several red zone trips. They will need touchdowns when given the opportunity against Georgia. And OSU needs to fix the defense ahead of this matchup. OSU allowed four scoring plays of at least 69 yards and yielded 530 total yards. The Buckeyes cashed the OVER in three straight and in nine of their last 10 games.
Since the playoff was introduced for the 2014 season there’s never been a repeat champion. The Bulldogs are hell-bent on being the first. They rolled through the regular season with only one game decided by fewer than 10 points and held six opponents to 10 points or less with a pair of shutouts. The defense gets a lot of attention after leading the club to a national championship last year. This season the Dawgs have the second-best scoring defense allowing just 12.8 points per game, which includes giving up 30 to LSU in the SEC championship. While that might be concerning, it’s safe to say UGA eased up after building a 35-7 first half lead.
Couple a stifling defense and explosive offense and you have the favorite to win a national title. The Dawgs can score averaging 39.2 points behind Stetson Bennett. He doesn’t get the recognition of other QBs but he wins. He capped off the season throwing four TD passes against LSU giving him 20 for the year. He also completed 68 percent of his throws for 3,420 yards. Kenny McIntosh leads three players with over 500 rushing yards giving UGA a balanced attack that’s been difficult for opponents to stop.
Ohio State vs. Georgia Free Pick
The spread seems like a lot for two powerful teams. But Georgia ran the table with no hiccups and looks as dominant as ever on both sides of the football. Oddsmakers expect a lot of points and the teams will oblige, but the Dawgs have more balance and a better defense that will help them get a cover.
BookMaker Pick: Georgia Bulldogs -6.5
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