The sportsbooks will be pulling for the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) when they meet reigning national champion No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (13-0) in the Peach Bowl for the first round of the College Football Playoff.
Per VSIN, nearly 90% of the money at DraftKings Sportsbook is on Georgia to cover as 6.5-point favorites over Ohio State at the time of writing.
What gets my spidey-sense tingling is the Bulldogs not going through the key number of -7 despite the one-way betting traffic toward Georgia. Especially because this is virtually a home game for the Bulldogs.
If the market is this lopsided in favor of the Dawgs, surely Georgia’s spread will climb, right? Perhaps the line will adjust closer to kickoff but, at the moment, it feels like the House want more pro-Bulldogs action.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Ohio State (+225), Georgia (-265)
- Against the spread (ATS): OHIO STATE +6.5 (-110), Georgia -6.5 (-110)
- Total — 62.5 — Over: -110, Under: -110
The strongest handicapping angle when betting football tends to be “fading the public”. More people gamble on football in America compared to any other sport and the public can affect the lines.
Well, everyone and their grandmothers are backing Georgia in the Peach Bowl. And while the Bulldogs look unbeatable, there isn’t 6.5 points worth of difference between them and the Buckeyes.
Georgia leads the nation in both net expected points added per play (EPA/play) and net success rate. Ohio State is second in both. The Dawgs and Buckeyes are both excellent on third-down and in the red zone.
Ohio State’s edges over Georgia is creating turnovers and getting after the quarterback. The Buckeyes are 12th in sack rate on defense and +7 in turnover differential. The Bulldogs are 87th in sack rate and -1 in turnover margin.
When was the last time Georgia QB Stetson Bennett was pressured? If Ohio State’s pass rush can hurry Bennett up perhaps we’ll see the rare Bennett miscue. This matchup is tight enough on paper where a couple of mistakes either way decide the Peach Bowl.
Also, if Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud has time in the pocket, he has enough arm talent to make plays vs. the Bulldogs’ stacked defense. Finally, this is Georgia’s biggest challenge so far this season.
The Bulldogs didn’t have to play Alabama and got an easy matchup in the SEC title game against the LSU with first-year coach Brian Kelly. Georgia did smother a then-undefeated Tennessee 27-13 in early November.
But, with all due respect to the Vols, Ohio State has more ways to win. The Buckeyes have a great rushing attacks in the country and and top-20 defense. Plus TeamRankings.com says Ohio State’s strength of schedule slightly stronger than Georgia’s.
Peach Bowl Best Bet: Ohio State +6.5 (-110) at DraftKings
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