Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: National Championship - TCU vs. Georgia (1/9/2023) - Taking Vegas

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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: National Championship – TCU vs. Georgia (1/9/2023)

By Michael Savio
January 6, 2023

#3 TCU Horned Frogs vs #1 Georgia Bulldogs (1/9 @ 7:30 PM EST)

Spread: Georgia -12.5
Money Line: TCU +370 / Georgia -465
Total: 63

Overview and Betting Info

The #3 TCU Horned Frogs (13-1) and #1 Georgia Bulldogs (14-0) will meet on Monday in the CFP National Championship game. TCU upset Michigan 51-45 in the semis, while Georgia escaped with a 42-41 victory over Ohio State. These teams have met four times since 1942, with Georgia winning all of them.

TCU is 10-3-1 against the spread this season but has covered just two of their last four games. They have gone over the total eight times, including four of their previous six games.

Georgia is 7-7 against the spread this season but has failed to cover three of their previous four games. They have gone over the total six times but have been over in their last three games.

TCU Horned Frogs

The TCU offense averages 474.1 yards (13th in FBS) and 41.1 points (5th) per game. They’ve been incredible to finish the season, scoring over 50 points in three of their last four games. They are led by Max Duggan, who has thrown for 3,546 yards (17th) and 32 touchdowns (10th). He’s been an effective rusher as well, with While he has six combined touchdowns over their last two games, he completed less than half of his passes during that span. He was facing two of the best defenses in the country, meaning he will be prepared to meet Georgia’s elite defense on Monday.

Duggan is helped by the Frogs’ leading receiver, Quentin Johnston. The junior has 1,066 yards and six touchdowns on the season, including 302 yards and a touchdown against Michigan and KSU. He’s been impossible to stop in big games and should continue to find success against Georgia. Though both have been quiet in their last two games, Johnston is joined by Taye Barber (605 yards, 5 TD) and Derius Davis (430 yards, 5 TD). Duggan isn’t afraid to spread the ball around, so look for many receivers to be involved once again.

The TCU backfield is led by Kendre Miller, who has gone for 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns. He picked up a knee injury against Michigan last week, making him questionable to play Monday. We’d be shocked if he can’t go, but the good news is that TCU has another great back with Emari Demercado (622 yards, 6 TD) if he can’t. the senior went for 150 yards and a touchdown against Michigan but has been second fiddle to Miller. If both can play Monday, it will boost their chances at a National Championship.

The Frogs’ defense is allowing 385.1 yards and 25.0 points per game. They’ve been solid this season but have given up 82 points over their last two games (KSU and Michigan). They will rely on Dylan Horton (10 sacks, 4 PD) and Dee Winters (72 tackles,7.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD) to get pressure on Stetson Bennett Monday. Horton had a whopping four sacks against Michigan last week, while Winters had seven tackles and returned an interception or a touchdown. The secondary is led by a trio of talented defensive backs in Bud Clark (5 INT, 1 TD), Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (14 PD, 3 INT), and Josh Newton (12 PD, 3 INT, 1 TD). It’s an aggressive unit that has forced 16 interceptions and scored four touchdowns.

Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia offense is eighth in FBS, averaging 494.9 yards and 39.4 points per game this season. They are led by Stetson Bennett, who has thrown for 3,823 yards (9th in FBS) and 23 touchdowns on the season. Though he’s not the team’s biggest playmaker, he did throw for 398 yards and a combined four touchdowns last week against Ohio State. The Senior has experience playing in a championship game, giving him an edge over Duggan on Monday.

Bennett’s favorite target this season has been tight end Brock Bowers, who leads the team with 790 yards and six touchdowns. While he doesn’t sport high yardage totals, the sophomore usually is good for at least five receptions per game and has scored in two of their last three. The Bulldogs should have Ladd McConkey (674 yards, 5 TD) available once again after struggling with injuries. He was a non-factor last week, but another week to heal should make him even better on Monday. Look for running back Kenny McIntosh to be involved in the passing game as well, as he had 56 yards and a touchdown through the air last week.

The Bulldogs’ backfield is led by Kenny McIntosh (779 yards, 10 TD) and Daijun Edwards (739 yards, 7 TD). Both backs have had success and are averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but McIntosh’s ability to catch the ball has set him apart. With 505 receiving yards and two touchdowns, McIntosh is the key that starts this offense’s engine. Keep an eye on Kendall Milton (559 yards, 7 TD) as well, as he has scored in two of their last three games.

The Georgia defense allows 292.1 yards (9th in FBS) and 12.8 points (2nd) per game. This unit has been shutting opponents all season, but they’ve allowed 71 points over their last two games. A part of their success came from their pass rush, with 17 players registering a sack on the season. They are led by Jamon Dumas-Johnson (43 tackles, 4 sacks) and Mykel Williams, with Javon Bell adding 3.5 sacks out of the secondary. All three had sacks against Ohio State and should be active again on Monday. Their secondary is led by a trio of talented defensive backs in Christopher Smith (1 sack, 5 PD, 3 INT), Kelee Ringo (7 PD, 2 INT), and Malaki Starks (68 tackles, 7 PD, 2 INT. It’s a talented group that should present a better challenge against Johnston and the TCU pass attack.

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