Teams have gone bowling and through all the heartbreaks, upsets,and excitement, we have finally reached the conclusion that we have all been waiting on. After what many have called the best playoff semifinals to date, we have our two finalists, The undefeated reigning champions #1 Georgia Bulldogs will see if they can go back-to-back against the #3 TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game tonight at SoFi Stadium. The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a thrilling victory against the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Peach Bowl 42-41 coming off a nail biter field goal that was wide left for the Buckeyes, sealing the win for Georgia. Georgia is led by proven winner and Heisman finalist Stetson Bennett, who has shown repeatedly that when the team needs him the most, he can make the throws and the plays that will propel Georgia into success averaging over 6 yards per play. With star TE Darnell Washington being a game-time decision and receiver Ladd McConkey not being 100%, expect running back Kenny McIntosh and one of the fastest players in college football, Adonai Mitchell, to ease things for Bennett and the offense. The Bulldogs dominant defense has shown that it can play against explosive high-powered offenses and this matchup just might be their toughest yet having to be matches up against future first rounder Quentin Johnston and dangerous dual threat Heisman finalist Max Duggan who completed one of the biggest upsets in college football history, beating the #2 Michigan Wolverines in the Fiesta Bowl 51-45. Georgia showed that if you can escape the pocket and extend plays, you can make them pay and that’s exactly what Ohio State’s Cj Stroud did, and TCU is going to have to replicate that with Duggan. TCU proved they can go score for score with the best when they spread, they ball out. They might be missing their star running back Kendre Miller but having Duggan as an extension of the run game will keep the Bulldogs stout run defense (80 rushing yards allowed per game) on their heels. On paper, both sides of the ball heavily favor Georgia but if it’s one thing TCU does well is crawl themselves out a hole when the going gets tough.
The Best Bet?
When looking at the lines for today you see the Bulldogs jumped from -12 to -13.5 over the course of last week and it seems like Vegas believes that Georgia will pull out of this one late but Georgia is just 6-6 against the spread this season as a double digit favorite and 1-3 in its last 4 with national title favorites of 5+ points being 4-11 against the spread since 1999. TCU at +13.5 is an incredible 10-3-1 against the spread and 3-0 when an underdog. They do not lose faith when down a couple scores and have showed countless times that they just might prefer it that way so expect Georgia to try and keep it slow, limit turnovers, and play smash mouth football. TCU being unlikely to let that happen scoring 28+ points in the last 4 games will look to get going early while relying on their defense (384.6 total yards per game and 25.0 points per game allowed this season) to hold Georgia (37+ points in the last 3 games) down the stretch. The over has hit in the last three games for Georgia and this one being set at 63.5 points looks to be the best bet for tonight. TCU at +13.5 is another viable choice to keep your eye for best bet for backdoor purposes as the horned frogs will not allow themselves to get blowout and on various occasions has shown that they can muster up quick scoring drives that will not knock them out for the count.
Kickoff is at 6:30 PM Central Time