2022 College Football Playoff odds: Bettors hammering favored Michigan, Georgia on spread in New Year's Eve semifinals, history suggests blowouts
There have been several very entertaining bowl games so far this season, but in truth only two really matter these days: the College Football Playoff national semifinals. Those games will be played on Saturday with No. 2 Michigan at -7.5 against No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, and No. 1 Georgia -6.5 against No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. Players at BetMGM are crushing both favorites against the spread. You may want to expect blowouts, as 11 of the 14 semifinal games since 2015 have been decided by 14 or more points.
Michigan is 13-0 for the first time in school history and in the playoff for the second time. The Wolverines were easily dispatched by a 34-11 score last season by No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl. Cade McNamara was Michigan's starting quarterback then and threw two picks before being benched for JJ McCarthy, who beat out McNamara early this season for the 2022 starting gig.
TCU started 12-0 but was upset by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game. Quarterback Max Duggan was second in the Heisman Trophy voting. He has declared for the NFL Draft but will play Saturday. The Horned Frogs have five wins over ranked opponents this season, tied with Tennessee for the most. That's not bad for a program picked to finish seventh in the Big 12. Sonny Dykes deservedly won several national coach of the year awards. TCU is the first school from Texas to reach the playoff and only Big 12 program other than Oklahoma to be selected.
Coach Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines – he has been rumored to be a candidate for NFL head coaching openings with Indianapolis and Denver after nearly taking the Minnesota job last year – opened as 9.5-point favorites but are down to -7.5 despite taking 69% of the bets and 72% of the money. The total opened at 59.5 and is down to 58.5 with 57% of the bets and 54% of the money on the Over. On the moneyline, TCU opened +290 but is now +240 and taking 66% of the bets and 38% of the money.
It's the first-ever meeting between TCU and Michigan.
Georgia-Ohio State is clearly the marquee matchup and thus the primetime game on ESPN. The Bulldogs are looking to become the first repeat champion in the College Football Playoff era. That began in the 2014 season when Ohio State won it all. The Buckeyes haven't won it since. They only snuck into the No. 4 spot when then-No. 4 USC lost the Pac-12 title game vs. Utah.
The Dawgs again have one of the nation's top defenses, led by All-American tackle Jalen Carter, who is favored to be the first defensive player chosen in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Buckeyes again have one of the nation's top offenses led by QB and Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud, who might be the No. 1 overall pick in the '23 draft.
The Bulldogs enter Saturday's game as less than 10-point favorites for only the second time this season (Week 10 vs. Tennessee). Georgia opened at -7 but is down to -6.5 despite 82% of the bets and 85% of the money landing on the Bulldogs. The total opened at 60.5 and is up to 62.5 with 66% of the bets and 88% of the money on the Over. On the moneyline, Ohio State opened at +210 and is now +220 with 73% of the bets and 54% of the money on the Buckeyes.
Georgia and Ohio State have met just once, in the 1993 Citrus Bowl.
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