TCU vs Georgia Picks, 2023 CFP National Championship Predictions & Best Bets
Dan Kilbridge | 6 mins
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So, this is how it ends – the Frogs and the Dogs for all the marbles in a College Football Playoff National Championship matchup that no one saw coming back in August. Or even a week ago. But that was before No. 3 TCU upset No. 2 Michigan in the CFP semifinals to continue its epic journey to the title game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the top-ranked, defending champion Georgia Bulldogs are waiting.
The Horned Frogs earned their way here and proved they belong after finishing 5-7 a year ago. They’re now the biggest college football betting long shot ever to reach the CFP title game after opening at +20000 to win it all on preseason odds boards.
It’s not surprising to see the Bulldogs back in this spot. They’ve been the consensus top team for most of the year and responded to the doubters with big win after big win over the likes of Oregon, Tennessee and LSU. Georgia was a -4.5 favorite over Ohio State in the Peach Bowl CFP semifinal and barely escaped with a 42-41 win, as Buckeyes kicker Noah Ruggles snap-hooked a 50-yard game-winning field goal attempt.
Underdogs covered on sports betting apps and the total went Over in both CFP semifinals, two instant classics that spanned an insanely entertaining eight-hour stretch on New Year’s Eve.
Now the stage is set for these teams to answer the bell one more time with everything on the line. Let’s see what they can come up with for an encore.
TCU vs. Georgia CFP Moneyline Prediction
The Bulldogs have been favored in every game this year, a trend that continues ahead of this matchup with Georgia listed as a -460 college football odds favorite on the moneyline. TCU checks in as a healthy +370 underdog after pulling off the upset as a +275 dog against Michigan.
The Horned Frogs got everyone’s attention with that semifinal win. It was shocking, at times, to see TCU not only hang tough in the trenches but win the line of scrimmage on multiple occasions. They did it against a Michigan team that prides itself on Big Ten physicality and bullying the little guy. And they hung 51 points on an elite Wolverines defense.
Basically, TCU destroyed all the pregame narratives and stylistic musings and just got the job done with an all-out effort up front and another definitive performance from quarterback Max Duggan. There was nothing fluky about it, which should cause some concern for Bulldogs moneyline bettors laying the big number.
Overall, the Horned Frogs forced a stalemate at the line of scrimmage all night and relied on their superior skill guys to light up the Wolverines. But they also gave up 342 passing yards, a season-high for Michigan, and there won’t be nearly as much room for error on coverage busts and mistakes against the Bulldogs.
We expect Georgia to get it done in the end and become the first repeat national champions since Alabama in 2010-11.
TCU vs. Georgia National Championship Point Spread Prediction
The national championship betting line shows just how much respect the Horned Frogs earned against the Wolverines. Sportsbooks releasing odds on potential title game point spreads prior to the CFP semifinal matchups had a then-hypothetical TCU vs. Georgia matchup pegged at Georgia -17.5.
The Bulldogs are now a -13 favorite for the real deal and early indications suggest the public loves TCU and the points.
This is still the most lopsided point spread of any CFP national championship matchup by a significant margin, with all prior spreads holding strong in the single digits. It’s also the fourth time TCU has been an underdog this season – the Horned Frogs smoked Oklahoma as a +5 underdog, beat Texas by a touchdown at +7.5 and upset Michigan in the semifinal at +8.
TCU pulled off the latter in part by converting on 8 of 16 third-down attempts, while Michigan went 3 of 15 in third and fourth-down conversion attempts. The Frogs were able to keep the sticks moving consistently and drew even in the turnover battle. All things that will be tough to do against a Georgia team that is as disciplined as any in the country.
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The Frogs also clearly had the better quarterback and were somehow able to rope the Wolverines into a Big 12-style shootout that totally favored TCU all the way. The problem with stopping this Georgia team is they have a quarterback to go with that defense – Stetson Bennett just threw for 398 yards and three scores to lead that fourth-quarter comeback win over the Buckeyes.
Bennett completed a pass to 10 different receivers, and four Bulldogs also got carries against Ohio State. That type of balance is deadly and Georgia has plenty of time to break down that 3-3-5 defense and find opportunities.
This could be a fun one early on, but we expect the Bulldogs to impose their will in the second half and run away in a blowout. We’re on Georgia -13 for our college football picks in this matchup.
TCU vs. Georgia CFP Over/Under Prediction
While this game comes too soon for Georgia sports betting sites (fingers crossed for positive news in 2023 in the Peach State), oddsmakers elsewhere have the total set at 62.5 after a pair of shootouts in the semifinals – TCU and Michigan combined for 96 points while the Buckeyes and Bulldogs totaled 83.
The Bulldogs’ 33-18 win over Alabama in last year’s title game snapped a streak of six straight years in which the national championship total went Over, and this year’s total is nearly 10 points higher than the 2022 title game (53).
We don’t expect Georgia to fall into the same trap as the Wolverines and find themselves in unfamiliar territory. The Bulldogs should be able to control the line of scrimmage and sustain drives, and they want to keep Duggan off the field as much as possible.
That’s the winning formula that allowed the Bulldogs to stymie Alabama a year ago, and we expect Georgia to dial up a similar plan Monday night.
We’re on Under 62.5.