After a wild and crazy college football season, we’ve finally reached the College Football Playoffs. The early tilt at 4 PM EST features the TCU Horned Frogs and the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan is currently a 7.5-point favorite at the time of this writing.
The nightcap features the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Georgia Bulldogs. The defending champs are entrenched as a 6.5-point favorite.
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VRBO Fiesta Bowl: TCU vs Michigan
What an incredible ride for the Horned Frogs this season. They ran the table during the regular season and headed to the conference championship in Sonny Dykes’s 1st season.
That said, things did end on a sour note as they were upended in the Big 12 title game against Kansas State. It seemed like it was going to be another typical TCU comeback win as Max Duggan led them back from down 28-17 in the 4th to send the game to overtime.
Unfortunately, TCU was turned away on their possession as they tried to punch it in from 1 yard out. Kansas State then got a bit of yardage before drilling the game-winning field goal.
Michigan is 13-0 and is coming off their 2nd win in 2 years over Ohio State. They’re basking in the glory of winning the Big 10 title game once again.
Big Blue showed their dominance over Purdue in the title game, where they walked away with a 43-22 game. The loss of Blake Corum stings, but Donovan Edwards showed he can be a worthy replacement as he went for 185 yards and a score on just 25 carries against Purdue.
Best Bet: Michigan -7.5
Best Available Odds: -108 at FanDuel
We love this TCU team and especially Max Duggan, who seems to always have a flare for the dramatic. However, he is facing arguably the best defense in the country, which is a completely different level from the defenses he saw in the Big 12.
TCU has a habit of falling behind early and making a comeback, but against this run-heavy offense of the Wolverines, that will be a tall order. This one will be close early, but Michigan will pull away late.
Key Trends for Fiesta Bowl:
- TCU is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 bowl games.
- TCU is 4-11 ATS in their last 15 neutral site games.
- Michigan is 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up win.
- Michigan is 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Ohio State vs Georgia
Ohio State has just 1 blemish on their record, and that came against one of the other playoff teams in arch-rival Michigan. The 45-23 loss was embarrassing to many in Buckeye nation, and the taste of that loss has sat with the team during this wait for the playoffs.
CJ Stroud has been a maestro behind center all season and has thrown for 37 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. The rushing attack has featured 3 different backs that have all had over 100 carries on the season.
Georgia is looking to repeat as champions as they have gone 13-0 on the season with wins over then #11 Oregon, #1 Tennessee, and #14 LSU in SEC title game.
Stetson Bennett has been one of the most efficient leaders in all of college football this season. He is averaging 260 yards per game and completing nearly 70% of his passes. The Georgia defense has continued to dominate as they finished 2nd in the country in points allowed at just 12.77 per game.
Best Bet: Ohio State +6.5
Best Available Odds: -105 at BetMGM
We believe Georgia will do enough to get by OSU here, but they will not cover this number. The public has been quick to dismiss OSU after the throttling they took in their last game to Michigan, but they still have a ton of weapons that are going to truly test this Georgia defense.
The other piece is going to be the pass rush of OSU that finished with 32 sacks on the year, which was top 35 in the country. The Bucks should be able to get Bennett to feel uncomfortable in the pocket. Georgia will win, but not by more than this spread.
Key Trends for Peach Bowl:
- OSU is 16-4 ATS in their last 20 games when playing as the underdog.
- OSU is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games played in December.
- UGA is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win.
- UGA is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.