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College Football Playoff odds: Georgia remains favorite to repeat

Michigan is second in the national title odds market, followed by Ohio State and TCU

Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart (center left) celebrates with his team after winning the SEC championship against LSU on Saturday. The Bulldogs enter the College Football Playoff as the No. 1 seed and clear-cut favorite to successfully defend their national title. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart (center left) celebrates with his team after winning the SEC championship against LSU on Saturday. The Bulldogs enter the College Football Playoff as the No. 1 seed and clear-cut favorite to successfully defend their national title. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Read moreKevin C. Cox / Getty Images

After 14 weeks and a whole lot of shuffling around, the 2022-23 College Football Playoff puzzle is complete. And while everyone invited to the four-team party has an equal chance to claim the national championship, the College Football Playoff odds market suggests that’s a fallacy.

As has been the case for two months, oddsmakers believe one team is head and shoulders above the competition. It’s the same team that was the last one standing a year ago.

So are we headed for an inevitable re-coronation of the Georgia Bulldogs? Or can one of the other three playoff participants — Michigan, TCU or Ohio State — buck the odds and make history?

With nearly four weeks until college football’s version of the Final Four kicks off, here’s an updated look at College Football Playoff odds, plus an early breakdown of the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl matchups.

Note: Odds updated as of 3 p.m. ET on Dec. 5.

College Football Playoff odds (via BetMGM)

Team (Record)
Georgia (13-0)
Current Odds
Opening Odds
Team (Record)
Michigan (13-0)
Current Odds
Opening Odds
Team (Record)
Ohio State (11-1)
Current Odds
Opening Odds
Team (Record)
TCU (12-1)
Current Odds
Opening Odds

A year ago at this time, the Georgia Bulldogs were licking their wounds after a 41-27 loss to rival Alabama in the SEC championship game.

While the defeat squashed Georgia’s hopes for an unbeaten season, the Dawgs regrouped — to say the least. They pummeled Michigan 34-11 in the College Football Playoff semifinals, then thumped Alabama 33-18 in a title game rematch.

Georgia carried that championship momentum through the offseason and into the 2022-23 campaign. After once again rolling through the regular season undefeated, the Bulldogs earned their coveted SEC title with Saturday’s 50-30 shellacking of LSU in Atlanta.

Now 27-1 since the start of last year, coach Kirby Smart’s squad enters the College Football Playoff as the No. 1 seed — a position it has held since the second CFB rankings were released on Nov. 1.

Georgia also enters the playoff as the odds-on favorite to win consecutive national championships for the first time in school history. To pull it off, the Bulldogs have to knock off No. 4 seed Ohio State in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve, then defeat the TCU-Michigan Fiesta Bowl winner on Jan. 9 in Los Angeles.

At BetMGM, Georgia entered the season as the co-favorite with Alabama to win the 2022-23 national title. Both had +200 odds. However, the Bulldogs have occupied the favorite spot by themselves since the Crimson Tide suffered a 52-49 loss at Tennessee on Oct. 15.

Heading into its SEC championship battle with LSU, Georgia’s odds were down to -165 to repeat. That number has since adjusted slightly, with the Bulldogs now at -145.

Michigan now has the second-best College Football Playoff odds. The Wolverines, who crushed Purdue in Saturday’s Big Ten title tilt, stretched from +275 last week to their current +300 price.

Ohio State, whose only loss was to Michigan two weeks ago, is right behind its archrival at +350. Then it’s a big drop off to long shot TCU. The Horned Frogs dipped from +1000 last week to +1600 following Saturday’s overtime loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game.

» READ MORE: Rose Bowl odds: Penn State opens as slim betting favorite over Utah

College Football Playoff betting: Early action on Georgia, Michigan

Even though oddsmakers like Georgia’s chances to successfully defend its national championship, they believe Michigan has the easier path to the Jan. 9 title game.

The Wolverines on Sunday opened as a 9.5-point favorite at BetMGM take out TCU. The line then fell to Michigan -8.5 before inching up to -9. BetMGM reports that 70% of the early Fiesta Bowl wagers and 72% of the early money is on the favorite.

Georgia has moved from a 7-point favorite against Ohio State down to the current number of 6.5. Again, though, most BetMGM’s customers are laying the points — as of Monday morning, 87% of the tickets and 86% of the dollars were on the Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl.

As you examine the College Football Playoff odds and contemplate which teams to bet on, here are five things to ponder for each matchup.

No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Georgia (Peach Bowl)

  1. Date: Dec. 31 in Atlanta (ESPN)

  2. Records: Ohio State 11-1 (5-6-1 ATS); Georgia 13-0 (7-6 ATS)

  3. Point spread: Ohio State +6.5 (-105)/Georgia -6.5 (-115)

  4. Money line: Ohio State +210/Georgia -275

  5. Total: 61.5 points

— Ohio State opened the season with 11 straight double-digit wins (including seven victories by 29 points or more) before losing 45-23 at home to Michigan as a 9-point favorite on Nov. 26. The Buckeyes enter the CFP semifinals in a 1-4 ATS slump.

— During its 27-1 run since the start of last season, Georgia is 17-11 ATS. The Bulldogs have been favored in 27 straight games since being a 3-point underdog in last year’s season opener against Clemson.

— Ohio State ranks No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense (44.5 points per game) and No. 6 in total offense (492.7 yards per game). Georgia ranks No. 2 in scoring defense (12.8 ppg) and No. 10 in total defense (292.1 ypg). The Bulldogs have held 26 of their last 28 opponents to 22 points or fewer. The only exceptions: Alabama (41 points in last year’s SEC title game) and LSU (30 points in Saturday’s SEC title game).

— Since a bowl victory over Cincinnati on Jan. 1, 2021, Georgia is 5-1 SU (4-2 ATS) in neutral-site games. That includes a 3-1 mark (2-2 ATS) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. In two games at that venue this year, the Bulldogs beat Oregon and LSU by a combined score of 99-33.

— Ohio State has gone Over the total in nine of its last 10 games. Georgia has topped the total in three of its last four and four of its last six. However, the Under cashed in both of the Bulldogs’ CFP games last year (each by just 1.5 points).

» READ MORE: Heisman Trophy betting: USC’s Williams goes from late-season long shot to likely winner

No. 3 TCU vs. No. 2 Michigan (Fiesta Bowl)

  1. Date: Dec. 31 in Glendale, Arizona (ESPN)

  2. Records: TCU 12-1 (9-3-1 ATS); Michigan 13-0 (8-5 ATS)

  3. Point spread: TCU +9/Michigan -9

  4. Money line: TCU +275/Michigan -350

  5. Total: 59.5 points

— TCU has the best point spread record of any of the four CFP participants. Only Tulane (11-2 ATS), Oregon State (10-2 ATS), and Kent State and Troy (both 10-3 ATS) cashed more tickets this season. The Horned Frogs won their first two games as an underdog before falling to Kansas State 31-28 in overtime in Saturday’s Big 12 title, going off as a one-point underdog.

— Michigan is 25-2 SU and 19-8 ATS since the start of last season. It’s only outright losses: 37-33 to Michigan State as a four-point road favorite last October and 34-11 to Georgia as a 7.5-point underdog in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal.

— TCU ranks sixth in scoring offense at 40.3 points per game, tallying at least 28 points in all but one game (17-10 upset victory at Texas). The Frogs put up at least 34 points in their first nine contests but only did so once in the last four (62-14 win over Iowa State two weeks ago).

— The Wolverines are fifth in scoring defense (13.4 ppg allowed) and haven’t surrendered more than 27 points all season. They have held 10 of 13 foes to 17 points or less.

— TCU enters the Fiesta Bowl on a 4-1 Under streak. Michigan started the season 8-2-1 Under but cleared the total in its blowout wins over Ohio State (45-23) and Purdue (43-22).

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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