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After without a doubt the greatest College Football Playoff semifinal ever, the national championship is set with the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (14-0) playing No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs (13-1) at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, Jan. 9.
TCU pulled off an epic upset of Michigan as 7.5-point underdogs. The Horned Frogs jumped out to an early 21-3 lead thanks to Wolverines QB J.J. McCarthy‘s two pick-sixes.
Michigan fought back and had the ball in the final minute with a chance to win. But, the Wolverines turned the ball over on downs and the Horned Frogs held onto a 51-45 victory.
Then Ohio State-Georgia said: “Hold my beer”. The reigning national champion Bulldogs outgunned the Buckeyes 42-41 in the Peach Bowl in a shootout for the ages. However, Ohio State easily covered as 5.5-point underdogs.
Georgia showed it had that dog in them by rallying back from a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter. Bulldogs QB Stetson Bennett threw 2 of his 3 TD passes in the final frame.
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud had an all-time bowl game performance despite losing. Stroud connected on 23-of-34 throws for 348 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT with a 93.8 QBR.
Most college football fans are savvy to know Georgia will be favorites over TCU in the CFP title game. That said, Georgia’s opening spread for the national championship is still eye-popping.
College Football Playoff National Championship spread
*Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
- Moneyline: TCU (+400), Georgia (-500)
- Against the spread (ATS): TCU +13.5 (-110), Georgia -13.5 (-100)
- Total — 62.5 — Over: -110, Under: -110
CFP title game betting history
While the College Football Playoff semifinal is usually a dud, there have been classic CFP national championship games since the tourney’s inception in 2014-15.
In fact, the favorites were just 2-3 straight up (SU) and 0-5 ATS in the first six College Football Playoff title games. Overall, the favorites are 5-3 SU and 3-5 ATS and the totals are 5-3 Over/Under.
Here’s a look at the short-history of the College Football Playoff national championship from a gambling perspective:
Ohio State upset the Oregon Ducks in the first-ever College Football Playoff national championship. The Buckeyes cashed as 6-point underdogs and Ohio-State went Under the total of 74.
The Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Clemson Tigers 45-40 in the first of back-to-back Alabama-Clemson CFP title games. The Crimson Tide failed to cover as 6.5-point favorites and the game soared Over the 50.5-point total.
Clemson upset Alabama 35-31 as 6.5-point underdogs in a rematch of the 2016 College Football Playoff title game and the Over cashed on a total of 51.5.
Georgia appeared in their first CFP national championship, losing to Alabama 26-23 in an overtime classic. Nick Saban benched former Crimson Tide QB Jalen Hurts in the second half for QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Alabama rallied to beat Georgia but couldn’t cover as 3.5-point favorites and Under bettors took a bad beat as the total went Over 47. Tua won the College Football Playoff MVP by throwing 3 TD passes including a walk-off TD pass in OT.
Clemson returned to the mountaintop by stomping Alabama 44-16 even though the Tigers were 5.5-point underdogs before kickoff. For the fourth consecutive CFP title game, the Over cashed on a 57-point total.
The Tigers failed to go back-to-back when an all-time LSU Tigers team led by Heisman-winning QB Joe Burrow waxed Clemson 42-25. LSU were -5.5 but the game fell short of the 67.5-point total.
Burrow capped off his sensational 2020-21 season with 5 TD passes and an MVP in the College Football Playoff title game.
Alabama blistered Ohio State 52-24 as 9.5-point favorites and another Over cashed on a 75-point total. Crimson Tide Heisman-winning WR Devonta Smith won CFP offensive MVP with 12 catches for 215 yards and 3 TDs.
Georgia got revenge for the 2021 SEC Title game loss to Alabama earlier in the season by smacking the Crimson Tide 33-18 in CFP national championship last year.
The Bulldogs pulled away in the fourth, outscoring Alabama 20-8 and covering as 3-point favorites but the game stayed Under the 53-point total.
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