CFP National Championship Game Betting Recap

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Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with Adonai Mitchell #5 after defeating TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023 in Inglewood, California. Georgia defeated TCU 65-7. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

The Georgia Bulldogs squashed the TCU Horned Frogs and the college football odds at Monday’s National Championship game. 

They can’t all be gems. After two incredibly exciting semifinal games in the College Football Playoff, the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs absolutely creamed the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs at Monday’s National Championship, winning 65-7 and covering as 13.5-point favorites on the NCAAF odds board at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review). 

In a way, things went exactly as expected here at the home office. Our National Championship player props were all about Georgia’s offense exploiting TCU, but the Bulldogs weren’t supposed to be this effective. By putting the game away so early, Kenny McIntosh (Under 3.5 receptions) and Adonai Mitchell (Under 2.5 receptions) didn’t see the targets they needed to cash in the Over for our college football picks.

Our last hope was Daijun Edwards going Over 45.5 rushing yards, but he was stuck with 30 yards on five carries, having last touched the ball in the middle of the third quarter with Georgia up 52-7. Great googly-moogly.

What Happened to TCU? 

I’d like to be glib about this and say “regression to the mean,” but the football gods definitely overcompensated with this result. Georgia’s defense did far better than projected against TCU’s high-octane offense, picking QB Max Bennett twice and recovering a fumble by RB Darius Davis – all in the first half. 

Not that we should be surprised by how effective Georgia’s defense (No. 2 on the F+ charts at Football Outsiders) was Monday night. It’s the main reason we had Under 62.5 in our first batch of NCAAF picks for this contest. But the seven points TCU scored were immaterial; the Bulldogs blew the total out all by themselves.

On top of that, we ended up taking a fun-size flier on the Frogs at +13.5. Not a great way to finish what was otherwise a profitable year of football for us, but at least we got a good price on the total, which closed at 60.5 points. Take your victories where you can. 

What’s This I Hear About Late Georgia Money?

For a while there, it looked like we got a great deal on TCU +13.5 as well. They were bet down to +12 on Bookmaker’s (visit our Bookmaker Review) NCAAF lines by the middle of last week, then ticked up a half-point before the crazy kicked in on Monday afternoon.

First, the Frogs jumped almost immediately back to +13.5, suggesting a surge of late money on the favorites – as one might expect from the betting public. Then another douse of plausibly sharp money pulled TCU down to +13 before they ended the night back where we started. 

This isn’t just me applying a standard old-school parsing of the college football lines, by the way. Darren Rovell reported a $500,000 bet on the Bulldogs in those tumultuous hours before kick-off; John Ewing reported a $550,000 bet on Georgia at -12.5. Journalism!

Will Georgia Three-Peat? 

That’s already the big question on everyone’s mind. It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to open as +375 favorites to win next year’s National Championship, so technically, the answer is “Probably not.”

We shouldn’t rain on Georgia’s parade like that. All those years of eating Alabama’s dirt have paid off for head coach Kirby Smart; he avenged his 2017-18 title loss to Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide to earn his first National Championship, then went back-to-back Monday night, making Georgia the first team to do so since the CFP began in 2014.

Granted, that’s not a long time frame we’re dealing with, and Saban is only 10 years removed from going back-to-back in Tuscaloosa during the BCS Era. But it does seem almost like a changing of the guard for college football, with the Crimson Tide opening as +550 second-favorites to dethrone Georgia and the Ohio State Buckeyes third at +650. TCU opened at +4000 after getting spanked on Monday.

What About the Heisman?

Speaking of college football futures, we also have the first odds for next year’s Heisman odds, courtesy of Bovada. The reigning winner, USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams, is the +400 favorite at press time, well ahead of a tightly-packed peloton led by North Carolina Tar Heels QB Drake Maye at +1000. 

It might be easier for Williams to repeat than Georgia, even if his odds are slightly longer. The Bulldogs won’t have senior QB Stetson Bennett under center next year, nor will junior QB Bryce Young return to Alabama. Duggan is also done with TCU after finishing second to Williams in Heisman voting as a senior. Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you this offseason.  

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.