NCAAF National Championship Early Value Picks – Look At The Total and 1st Half Spread

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Max Duggan #15 of the TCU Horned Frogs throws a pass during the first quarter against the Michigan Wolverines in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl. Chris Coduto/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAF Pick: Over 62.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Over 62.5 (-108)
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Georgia looks to become the first champion of the College Football Playoff era to repeat, and the first since Alabama went back-to-back in 2011-12.

The betting odds heavily favor the Bulldogs taking on Cinderella TCU. But for our college football picks, we’ll start things by looking at the total and one other choice.

And make sure to go over our Texas betting guide if you’re a local looking to place a bet on the TCU Horned Frogs!

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Georgia Bulldogs

CFP Championship Game

Monday, January 9, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at SoFi Stadium

Making the Case for OVER on the Total

Seeing the total was 62.5 to start the week, when you think of Georgia’s defense, any number in the 60s seems absurd. But is it?

In the Bulldogs' last two games, they have allowed 30 points to LSU and 41 to Ohio State. Both teams had quarterbacks that were playmakers who could move the ball down the field via the pass.

Coach Kirby Smart’s crew surrendered 348 yards passing to a very talented Ohio State offense that has a first-rate QB and as talent-laden a receiving group as there in the country. Against the Bengal Tigers, LSU had to pass on every down after they fell well behind, yet, giving up 502 yards passing, that seems like a reg flag.

You know TCU and QB Max Duggan have to like their matchup with Quentin Johnston and the rest of the Horned Frogs receivers after seeing the video with all the holes in the Georgia secondary. And if Smart wants to blitz Duggan from all angles, TCU ate up Michigan when they used blitzes.

Add in that TCU has averaged 47 points in their past three outings against what were some of the best defenses in the country and we could see another high-scoring affair.

Making the Case for UNDER on the Total

With everything we just laid out, how could the score possibly go below 62.5? Let us explain.

If you saw Smart’s interview after surviving against Ohio State, you witnessed a younger version of Nick Saban. Smart was certainly pleased to win the game and that was about it. He seemed to be personally embarrassed his team conceded that many points and that much yardage. You know he and his staff are going to concoct a game plan to slow, not necessarily stop a TCU offense that averages 41.1 points per game.

It seems a given both offenses will move the ball, both in different ways, with the focus to force them to move the chains in lower-numbered increments and avoid giving up the chunk plays.

The next area will be to tighten up the red zone defense. This will be the point to get creative on blitz packages and play zone behind that in the secondary to keep everything in front of them.

If Smart and TCU coach Sonny Dykes can have their teams accomplish this, that means more field goal attempts, which helps keep the score down.

Best Picks for the Championship Game

As much as we like Georgia’s defense, they are vulnerable in the secondary against opposing quarterbacks that know how to throw the ball, and Duggan certainly fits into that category.

TCU will have success moving the ball, probably not as much as Ohio State did, nonetheless, hitting some big plays and getting into the end zone several times. At the same time, Georgia has a diverse offense that can run or pass on anybody and they will have success against the Horned Frogs' defense.

In Dykes coaching career, he is 14-4 OVER versus rushing defenses allowing 3.25 or fewer rushing yards a carry, finding ways to move the ball and this one goes OVER.

Additionally, the early first-half line is at 7, and once again, Dykes can play the respect card. Though they beat the No. 2 team in the country, they are a double-digit underdog and TCU is 24-11 versus the first-half line in away games after they committed three or more turnovers.

Score Prediction: Georgia 38 – TCU 27

NCAAF Pick: TCU +7 1st Half (-105) at Heritage Sports

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TCU +7 1st Half (-105)
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*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.