College Football Playoff Semifinals Odds and Predictions

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After a nearly month-long hiatus, the top four teams in the country will square off for the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs on New Year’s Eve. The action begins at 4 p.m. EST in the Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ) with #3 TCU versus #2 Michigan and ends at 8 p.m. EST with #4 Ohio State versus #1 Georgia in the Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) .

Below is the full list of odds along with my best bet for both games and visit SBD for the latest domestic league odds.

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STATES: AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA

TCU vs. Michigan Odds and Predictions

team spread money line In total
TCU +7.5 (-110) +255 57.5 (-115)
Michigan -7.5 (-110) -320 57.5 (-105)

The aspect of this game I’m most confident about is the matchup between the Michigan defense and TCU offense, which I think the Wolverines dominate.

Michigan’s D ranked fourth nationally in total efficiency per Football Outsiders while finishing third in yards allowed (277.1 YPG) and fifth in scoring (13.4 PPG). I’m not saying TCU has a bad offense, anything but. They averaged over 40 points per game and hit the 50-point plateau on three separate occasions (including against Oklahoma and Iowa State). QB Max Duggan was a deserved runner-up in the Heisman vote, and wideout Quentin Johnson could be a top-ten pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

But the Frogs are yet to face a defense that rivals Michigan. They came closest to their matchup against Texas in Austin when they managed just 17 points in a still impressive 17-10 away win. If Duggan and Co. thought the was hard sledding, they’ll get a rude awakening as they line up across from Mazi Smith and DJ Turner.

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Though it finished the season averaging 25.0 points per game (74th in the country), TCU’s defense showed the potential to stiffen when needed. When the offense stuttered against the Longhorns or in the Big 12 title game against Kansas State, the defense stepped up their game and held their ground.

With offense running against Michigan’s brick wall of a front seven tonight in Glendale, look for the TCU defense to keep the game tight in the first half, resulting in a low score in the first 30 minutes (much like the Big 12 championship, which went to break 14-10).

Tip: First half under 28.5 points (-106)

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STATES: AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA

Ohio State vs. Georgia Odds and Predictions

team spread money line In total
State of Ohio +6.5 (-120) +198 62.5 (-106)
Georgia -6.5 (-102) -245 62.5 (-114)

This line never looked right to me and I’m surprised it hasn’t moved since it opened.

The Bulldogs have had some less-than-impressive games this season — their narrow 26-22 win in Missouri stands out, as does their 16-6 snoozefest in Kentucky — but they’ve also endured some tough tests and passed them with ease . In their showdown with then-No. 1 Tennessee in early November, Georgia raced to a 21-3 lead and never looked back, sending the vols 27-13 (an end result that flattered UT). In the SEC championship against an LSU team game, the Bulldogs throttled the Tigers 35-10 in the first half before taking their foot off the gas in the second verse.

Georgia will have de facto Home advantage as the Peach Bowl is being played in Atlanta. This will be the second game of the season for the Dawgs in the Superdome. The first came in Week 1 against then-No.11 Oregon and ended in a 49-3 loss in favor of UGA.

The lengthy gap between games also means ample time for Georgia defensive coordinator Will Muschamp to prepare his defense for CJ Stroud. The Ohio State pivot has been putting up gaudy numbers over the past two seasons (81 TD passes and just 12 INTs), but he’s actually taken a small step back this year. That was partly because his receiving corps was exhausted. The Buckeyes lost Jaxon Smith-Njigba after just three games this season, leaving them with receiver space not equal to what they have been accustomed to over the past half decade.

Georgia suffered its only setback of last season against Alabama in the SEC Championship (41-24). The Tide rushed for 536 yards on UGA’s top-rated defense, including 421 through the air for Bryce Young. But by the time the sides met again in domestic league play, Muschamp’s group had made the necessary adjustments. Bama was being held for under 400 yards and Young completed just 61 percent of his passes during a 33-18 UGA win.

On the other hand, after watching Michigan tear the Buckeyes apart on the 2022 edition of The Game, I have serious doubts about Ohio State’s ability to stop Georgia’s balanced attack. JJ McCarthy and the (up to that point underwhelming) attack by JJ McCarthy and the Wolverines destroyed Ohio State for 530, including over 250 through the air and on the ground. OSU gave up TD plays of 85, 75, 75, and 69 yards.

Look to UGA for another quality performance against the quality competition.

Selection: Georgia -6.5 (-102)

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STATES: AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA

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https://www.newsweek.com/college-football-playoff-semifinals-odds-predictions-ohio-state-vs-georgia-tcu-vs-michigan-1770386 College Football Playoff Semifinals Odds and Predictions

Rick Schindler

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