An early look at the spread for Georgia vs. Ohio State

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The Georgia Bulldogs will meet the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the College Football Playoff this year, as two of the nation’s powerhouse programs take center stage. The Bulldogs are looking to become the first team since Alabama in 2011-2012 to win back-to-back National Championships and just the third team in the modern era to go 15-0. On the other side, the Buckeyes are aiming to show the world their blowout home loss against Michigan was a fluke, hoping to win their first national title since 2014.

Shockingly, these two storied programs have only met once, which came in the 1993 Citrus Bowl, a game that the #8 Bulldogs won by a score of 21-14.

Georgia vs. Ohio State

Line: Georgia -6.5

This line opened at Georgia -7 and has already been bet down to -6.5, despite the public heavily favoring the Bulldogs. Early sharp money is on the Buckeyes, but that could change as we get closer to game time.

Of all the matchups Georgia could have had in the first round, this is my least favorite for the Dawgs. TCU isn’t really a playoff team, and we all saw how Michigan’s bruising style of play matched up with the Bulldogs last year. I think Michigan is a better team than Ohio State, but styles make fights, and the Buckeyes’ have the weapons offensively to give Georgia some fits.

The Bulldogs rolled in the SEC Championship over LSU, jumping out to a 35-7 lead by halftime and ending the game with 50 points. Offensively, this is the best the Bulldogs have looked under Kirby Smart, but it is impossible to ignore what LSU was able to do to Georgia’s defense when they had the ball. The Tigers racked up over 500 yards passing, and they aren’t an offense known for whipping it around the yard.

Ohio State, on the other hand, is loaded from the quarterback position to their receivers. They’ll be looking at the tape from the SEC championship to exploit Georgia’s defense. If they can turn this game into a shootout, perhaps they have a chance of ending Georgia’s current reign of dominance.

Still, if I’m betting this game, I’m taking my chances with Georgia. Kirby Smart has gotten over the hump and proven he’s a maestro at getting his players ready for the big game. Ryan Day is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Eventually, Georgia should be able to impose their will physically on both sides of the ball, and that’s what I expect Smart’s message will be to his players over this next month leading up to the game.

Photo: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

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