College Football Playoff odds, picks, predictions, analysis

College Football Playoff odds, picks, predictions, analysis

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After which there have been 4. 

After a dramatic convention championship weekend that noticed two of the nation’s prime 4 groups endure losses, the committee finalized one of many least controversial fields within the historical past of the School Soccer Playoff: Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and Ohio State. 

There was little drama heading into Sunday’s alternatives, however there’s loads of intrigue inside the matchups themselves. Can Georgia keep its title protection towards a proficient and hungry Ohio State squad? And can Michigan keep undefeated towards this plucky TCU squad? 

Listed here are the chances at BetMGM for the 2 semifinal matchups and our early lean on every:

Warren Brinson #97 and Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins #93 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrateGetty Photos

School Soccer playoff predictions and picks 

No. 1 Georgia (-6.5, 60.5) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (Dec. 31, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Once I first noticed the chances for this sport, I used to be shocked that Georgia wasn’t dealing as a landing favourite or greater. Certain sufficient, bettors have already pushed this line to six.5, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this one cross the important thing quantity earlier than kickoff later this month. 

That’s no disrespect to Ohio State, which clearly owns one of many three finest rosters within the nation. In reality, the argument for the underdog right here is straightforward: These groups have been seen as near-equals when the season started, and the Buckeyes misplaced one sport all 12 months to one of many different playoff finalists. 

Clearly, that’s an oversimplification. That loss got here on the heels of a difficult win at Maryland, which got here two weeks after a near-stumble at one-win Northwestern. Examine that to Georgia, which made fast work of LSU in final week’s SEC closing — flashing elite offensive upside with a 50-piece to go alongside essentially the most dominant protection within the nation. 

Emeka Egbuka #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes Getty Photos

Sure, there’s loads of expertise on this Ohio State roster. That wasn’t sufficient to carry up towards Michigan’s offense, which gashed this unit with 4 touchdowns of 69-plus yards even with famous person Blake Corum (knee) on the sidelines for many of it — a considerably predictable consequence for a Buckeyes secondary that hadn’t actually been examined all 12 months. 

I’m skeptical of that unit holding up towards Stetson Bennett and this resurgent Bulldogs offense, whereas C.J. Stroud and Co. have their hardest take a look at but towards this monstrous Georgia entrance. Kirby Good’s group blew out Michigan in an analogous spot in final 12 months’s semifinals, and I don’t count on this one to be all that a lot nearer. 

Choose: Georgia -6.5 (BetMGM)

Members of the Michigan Wolverines have a good time with Donovan Edwards #7 of the Michigan WolverinesGetty Photos

No. 2 Michigan (-9, 59.5) vs. No. 3 TCU (Dec. 31, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN) 

The most important query heading into this 12 months’s playoff choice wasn’t actually whether or not TCU deserved to be one of many prime 4 groups within the nation. Its résumé answered that. The larger concern at hand: are the Horned Frogs any good? 

Clearly, that’s a bit hyperbolic. This group needed to be good to outlive a sneakingly loaded Large 12 unscathed earlier than dropping within the convention title sport to a group it had already beat earlier this season. It additionally ranked within the prime 10 by most superior metrics with a Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback in Max Duggan. 

Did this group ever actually look the a part of a playoff group, although? The Horned Frogs received seven straight video games by 10 or fewer factors at one level, usually falling behind earlier than counting on late-game heroics. That got here again to chew them final week, when their second huge deficit of the 12 months towards Kansas State was too huge to beat. 

There was hardly ever a doubt for Michigan, which led the nation in common scoring margin (+26.7) and received 9 of its 12 video games by at the least 20 factors. That features the perfect win by any group this season: a 22-point romp over the very Ohio State group that the majority think about to be higher than TCU, rankings apart 

Max Duggan #15 of the TCU Horned FrogsGetty Photos

Dropping Corum late within the season was a troublesome blow on paper, however quarterback J.J. McCarthy has come alive late within the 12 months to spherical out some of the full groups in soccer. TCU deserves credit score for its phenomenal season up to now, however that ought to finish in convincing trend on the massive stage. 

Choose: Michigan -9 (BetMGM)

About Muji Sakawari

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