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College Football Playoff National Championship Odds, Props, and Best Bets

On we go to the championship. I'll openly admit that during both semi-finals, I was at my father-in-law's (latest) marriage. I saw a reasonable amount of the first game, and scoreboard-watched the second game until there were about two minutes remaining. As such, I don't have a great feel for how things went other than there was no defense.

National Championship Picks

Spread: Georgia -12.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)


Total: 62.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Moneyline: Georgia -450, TCU +340 (FanDuel Sportsbook)


Obviously not heavy-hitting analysis, but a moneyline play is only an option if you're backing an upset and looking to have a little fun. There's no value in betting Georgia to win unless you're just so confident in another option and can boost odds by parlaying, perhaps with some of the deflated anytime touchdown lines we'll discuss later.

There's simply no way TCU can win this game in a low-scoring slugfest. So if you're backing it to be competitive, the over is clearly the play. We've got an implied final of 37.5-25. I personally don't think Georgia will not have much of a problem getting to 38 points, though TCU has only given that up twice. The question is how much can TCU put up. Can the Horned Frogs exploit what LSU and Ohio State have done to Georgia over the last two games?

The spread has dropped slightly, and sits at what feels like a sucker's number at -12.5, comfortably below two touchdowns. The pick is head versus heart for me. Georgia has been far and away the best team all season. They've proven to be more than just brutes across lines, capable and willing to open things up in the rare instance they had to match points. On the flip side, I love the moxy Max Duggan has shown all season, and specifically in TCU's last two games. But I don't think that's enough. We saw what Georgia did to Michigan in last year's semi-finals, so I'm not putting much stock in TCU's upset last week. The Wolverines had more yards, fewer turnovers and fewer penalties than TCU last week. TCU is going to take chances because they need to, will make mistakes as a result, and Georgia will make them pay. The Horned Frogs will score some, but not nearly enough.

I'm personally becoming a fan of single-game parlays where we move the spread and totals substantially. DraftKings hasn't opened this up yet, but at FanDuel, you can move Georgia all the way to -6.5 at -225 odds. Add that to an over 55.5, and your parlay odds are -107. Or you could go under 69.5 and get -113. Just something to consider. But for this column....

Georgia -12.5

Over 62.5

National Championship Player Props

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I'm all in on Max Duggan here. But be sure to shop around for these numbers, as they are varying severely.

  • over 233.5 passing yards (DraftKings Sportsbook, it's 240.5 at FanDuel)

  • over 27.5 rushing yards (DraftKings Sportsbook, 29.5 at FanDuel)

  • anytime touchdown +120 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Georgia has allowed 850 yards passing in their last two games. They allowed 15 touchdown passes all season, and seven of those have come against LSU and Ohio State. TCU likely doesn't have that same firepower, but they're close. And in line with a higher-scoring affair, Duggan will have to move the ball up and down the field, or potentially get some late garbage time stats. Either way, I like the DK number, which he's been under just four times all year.

He's also called his own number often in the last two games, running 15 times in each of the Big 12 Championship and last week's semi-final after doing so 10+ times just five times in 12 regular-season games. We need to be a little careful if he's sacked a handful of times, but I feel confident in volume resulting in 30+ yards.

Finally, I'm rolling the dice on him rushing for a score, which he's also done in each of the last two games and eight times overall this season. The anytime touchdown odds are terrible elsewhere, with four players coming in at -180 or better. That's not worth the play. Again, I'm simply all in on Duggan rising to this challenge and putting up points. I don't see a passing TDs prop out yet, I'd be in at over 1.5, not sure on 2.5.


Kenny McIntosh over 19.5 yards receiving (DraftKings Sportsbook, 28.5 at FanDuel)

The yardage numbers are all over the place. You can see the receiving total disparity, but conversely, McIntosh's rushing totals are at 60.5 at FD, but 67.5 at DK. McIntosh went over the DK number seven times prior to this contest. It's not an area Michigan targeted, so obviously not a guarantee. But I look for Georgia to get McIntosh out in space and he could break this on one catch. Further, we don't know how healthy either TE Darnell Washington or WR Ladd McConkeyare, opening up additional targets for McIntosh.

I'm tempted by Stetson Bennett over 10.5 rushing yards, but he's been in the negative two straight, and if TCU gets him for two sacks, he'll need more like 30-35 yards to get here. As such, let's see where the passing TD number falls. He's thrown at least two touchdowns in seven of eight.

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