The college football offseason is barely 36 hours old, but already bettors at Caesars Sportsbook are already hammering Kirby Smart's Georgia Bulldogs to win a historic third straight national championship next season despite losing such stars as quarterback Stetson Bennett and defensive lineman Jalen Carter, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, among others. UGA is the +325 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to win the 2024 College Football Playoff title game on Jan. 8, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
UGA's 65-7 destruction of No. 3 TCU on Monday in Los Angeles was not just the biggest blowout in College Football Playoff history, but in any bowl game ever. The 65 points tied for the most a team has ever scored against an opponent ranked in the top five of the AP Poll. The only larger margin of victory in any game over a top-five opponent came in 1944, when No. 1 Army defeated No. 5 Notre Dame 59-0.
Georgia's 29 wins are the most in a two-year span in SEC history and tied for the most over a two-season span in major college football history. Smart's club will enter the 2023 season on a 17-game winning streak, which ties the longest streak in program history, last set in 1945-47.
The Associated Press poll debuted in 1936 and no team has won three straight titles since then. The last to do so was Minnesota, led by legendary coach Bernie Bierman, from 1934-36 – coinciding with the introduction of the poll. Barring injury, the Bulldogs will easily be favored in every 2023 regular-season game. Georgia's non-conference schedule is laughable: UT Martin, Ball State and UAB. Oklahoma was originally part of the schedule. The Bulldogs won't play Alabama, LSU or Texas A&M from the SEC West. The only tough games, frankly, are against Florida in Jacksonville and at Tennessee.
"If you look at next year, Georgia really has a simple schedule," said Joey Feazel, lead college football trader at Caesars Sportsbook. "They have three hard games, if that, and they don't play Alabama or LSU in the regular season. Then look at what Alabama and Ohio State lose at quarterback compared to Georgia. [Stetson] Bennett played his heart out and I think he's great, but Georgia has one of those systems that can you put anyone at quarterback and be fine. A lot of people were down on Georgia this year and they still went 15-0. So we have Georgia as the favorite, but we have their odds higher than most. It can change, but I don't see Georgia as the clear cream of the crop team like Alabama was heading into this past season."
The Bulldogs opened at +375, but five different bets of at least $1,000 already have lowered their price to +325. Since 2024 futures were posted at halftime of Monday's title game, Georgia has received the most tickets and handle by far to win it all again.
Smart will have to replace Bennett, now without question the most successful former walk-on in Division I history with back-to-back titles and back-to-back title game MVP Awards – although he still might not be drafted. In fact, one offshore book offers a prop on which round he will be drafted in this April and Bennett going undrafted is the +150 favorite, followed by the seventh round at +250.
The early favorite to replace Bennett is Carson Beck, his backup from this season. Beck was a 2020 four-star recruit from Jacksonville, Fla. He's +2000 to win the 2024 Heisman Trophy. Beck got some mop-up duty this past season, including vs. TCU, completing 26 of 35 for 310 yards, four touchdowns and no picks overall. Beck will be a redshirt junior in 2023. Former five-star recruit Brock Vandagriff ranked behind only Quinn Ewers, Caleb Williams and Sam Huard in the Class of 2021 and could push Beck for the job. One can never rule out a transfer addition.
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