The spread between Georgia and TCU is getting smaller and smaller.
Georgia opened as 13.5-point favorites at BetMGM after each team won their semifinal matchups. But that line has ticked down a full point to 12.5 after early money flocked to TCU. At one point, nearly 80% of bets and money were on TCU to cover the spread and two-thirds of the cash bet on the spread is currently on TCU.
“There is lopsided action on TCU to win the College Football Playoff. The sportsbook currently needs Georgia to win,” BetMGM's Christian Cipollini said.
While the spread has gone down, the total has gone up. The over/under opened at 61.5 and now sits at 63.5. It’s moved up two points because over 80% of bets and money is on the over.
Georgia is now -450 to win the game straight up after opening at -550. TCU is +350 to win its first national title since 1938 after opening at +400.
There are more things to bet on than just the spread, total and winner of the game, however. If you’re looking to wager on the national championship game, here are some betting options to consider.
How TCU and Georgia have done against the spread and total
TCU is one of the best teams against the spread in college football this season. The Horned Frogs are 10-3-1 ATS — only five teams have made more money for bettors than TCU this season. Georgia is 7-7 against the spread and failed to cover against Ohio State in the Peach Bowl.
The Horned Frogs were hitting the over on a regular basis in the first half of the season before oddsmakers caught up in the second half. TCU was 6-2 to the over in the first eight games of 2022 before finishing the season at 8-6 to the over. The under hit in the Big 12 title game before the over easily hit in TCU’s 51-45 win over Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl.
Georgia is 6-8 against the total and was a very consistent under team at the beginning of the season. The first five games of 2022 went under for the Bulldogs and just two of the first nine went over. But the last three and four of the last five UGA games have gone over.
Will either team get off to a hot start?
The first quarter total is at 13.5 points; the over is at -120 and the under is at +100. Betting both teams to score at least a TD and extra point in the first 15 minutes is at +170. The first quarter over could be a decent bet, especially if you’re one of the myriad bettors leaning toward the over on the game total.
You have to go back to TCU’s 17-10 win over Texas on Nov. 12 to find the last Horned Frogs game that didn’t feature at least 14 combined points in the first quarter. The last two Georgia games have had 14 or more combined points in the first quarter after 10 or fewer first-quarter points in each of its previous two contests.
Who gets to double digits first?
Georgia is heavily favored to be the first team to get to 10 and 20 points, respectively. The Bulldogs are -350 to hit the 10-point mark first and -350 to get to 20 points first.
TCU is +185 to hit 10 points first and +250 to be the first team to 20 points. Those odds make sense to us; Georgia is a significant favorite on the money line and this is a TCU team that has made a habit of second-half comebacks. The recipe for a TCU win may not lie with another comeback, however, and instead look a lot like what happened in the Michigan game. TCU took the lead first and forced Michigan to play catchup.
TCU is also at +160 to get the first touchdown while Georgia is at -250. Taking a flier on TCU at those odds may not be a bad idea. We wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if TCU scored a TD on its opening drive.
Our favorite scoring prop is the combination of a Georgia win and both teams scoring at least 20 points. The odds on that one are just -120.
Will the game go to overtime?
Just one of the first eight CFP national title games have gone into overtime. The odds reflect that. An overtime game is at +1250 while a regulation finish is at -10000. If you bet on a non-overtime game you’ll make a grand total of 50 cents on your $50 bet.
That one overtime title game came in January of 2018 when Tua Tagovailoa hit DeVonta Smith for the game-winning TD. Georgia fans haven’t forgotten that one. And it’s worth pointing out that each of the four title games after that haven’t been close.
Alabama’s win was the third consecutive title game with a margin of five points or less. Since that game, Clemson beat the Tide by 28, LSU beat Clemson by 17, Alabama beat Ohio State by 28 and Georgia beat the Tide by 15.
Is that recent history a reason to bet Georgia to cover the spread? A Georgia win between 13-18 points is at +450 while a Georgia win between 19-24 points is at +625. A Georgia win within six points is at +475.
A close TCU win is at +725 and the odds for the Horned Frogs go up from there. A win between 7-12 points for TCU is at +1250 and a 13-18 point victory is at +2200. If you want to get really frisky, each of the four bets that include TCU winning by 24 or more points are at +10000.