The Georgia Bulldogs are a big favorite to become the first College Football Playoff repeat champion and the first with back-to-back national titles in over a decade when they face the surprising TCU Horned Frogs in the national championship game on Monday night. If TCU felt disrespected by being a 9-point underdog to Michigan imagine how they feel now with the line for the title game set at TCU +12.5. The Frogs shocked nearly everyone with the biggest upset in CFP history dismantling UM’s stingy defense. UGA survived a last-second field goal attempt to edge Ohio State, 42-41, hitting the 40-point mark for the sixth time in nine games.
On Monday, January 9, 2023, the TCU Horned Frogs play the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship Game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. Kickoff time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET with television coverage on ESPN.
CFB National Championship Odds
TCU Horned Frogs +12.5
Georgia Bulldogs -12.5
Being the biggest dog of the season in their semifinal matchup with Michigan didn’t faze the Frogs. The line is even larger for the title game, though it’s dropped a point since opening at UGA -13.5. Four times this season TCU got points going 3-1 SU and ATS. The loss was to Kansas State, 31-28, in overtime in the Big 12 championship. Overall TCU’s been a good bet going 6-2 ATS in the last eight games and 10-3-1 ATS overall. A single-digit favorite for the second time this season, the Dawgs failed to cover the 4.5-point line against Ohio State going 1-3 ATS in their last four. They did extend their overall winning streak to 16 games, though, and have just one loss over the last two seasons. UGA has cashed the OVER in three straight games allowing a total of 71 points in the past two contests. The total spiked a point after hitting the board at 62.
TCU Horned Frogs
Showing no fear and making play after play, the Frogs pulled off the biggest upset in CFP history with their 51-45 win over Michigan. The elite Wolverines’ defense offered little resistance to the Frogs’ balanced offensive attack. And that will give Georgia something to think about. Michigan allowed an average of just 13.4 points during the season, but the Frogs hit that in the first quarter. They got some help from the defense, too. Bud Clark had the first of two pick-sixes and Max Duggan scored on a 1-yard run for a 14-0 lead. TCU ranked 25th in the FBS in both rushing and passing and the numbers were evenly split.
Duggan accounted for four touchdowns throwing for 225 yards and a pair of scores with an additional 57 yards and two TDs on the ground. Emari Demarcado rushed for 150 of TCU’s 263 yards and the Frogs amassed 488 yards against a defense that yielded just 277 yards per game during the season. Though the defense surrendered over 500 total yards they came up with stops and big plays. Dee Winter had a pick-six and the group held UM to 3 of 13 on third down.
If experience in the title game means anything Georgia has the advantage. They cruised to a pair of victories last season beating Michigan by 23 points in the semis and Alabama by 15 in the championship. And after barely being tested during the season they survived their first close game since the 2021 season opener against Clemson. A concern for Georgia has to be the play of the defense. After stifling opponents and not allowing more than 22 points in any of their first 12 games the group has surrendered 71 points in its last two. A strong rebound effort from the group would go a long way toward winning a championship.
Overshadowed most of the season by the defense, the Bulldogs showed they can outgun opponents. Trailing by 14 points twice during the semifinal, the Dawgs came back both times with Stetson Bennett throwing for 398 yards and three scores, the last with under a minute to play that proved to be the game-winner. UGA reached the 40-point plateau for the sixth time in nine games and cashed the OVER in a third straight.
TCU vs. Georgia Free Pick
TCU has been a scrappy bunch all season and their us-against-the-world mentality could carry them to a national championship. Let’s face it, though, they got a lot of help from Michigan in the semis and I don’t think Georgia is going to be as philanthropic. Still, the Frogs deserve to be here and I see this game being much closer than the spread indicates.
BookMaker Pick: TCU Horned Frogs +12.5
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