For Georgia fans, this has quickly become the best time of the year. For the third time since 2017, they will be apart of the College Football Playoff Semifinal, a round in which they are currently 2-0. Their opponent this year will not be a familiar one, as Georgia and Ohio State — two of the most storied programs in College Football history — will meet for just the second time. It should be a helluva New Year’s Eve at Mercedes Benz Stadium, a place that is quickly becoming a second home to the Bulldogs.
I was a little shocked when I saw the opening line, set at either -7.0 or -6.5 in favor of #1 Georgia, depending on where you look. I thought the Bulldogs would be favored by more, but it has remained incredibly stagnant for several weeks. It hasn’t once moved to 7.5, and can now be found everywhere at 6.5, despite most of the bets coming in on Georgia.
The sharp money is currently backing Ohio State, as they have for a large chunk of the year. Vegas seems enamored with the Buckeyes, despite them looking rather unimpressive in their few matchups against ranked opponents.
These games are always incredibly difficult to cap because there are no common opponents between the two teams. In the past, the SEC has received the benefit of the doubt because of how dominant they have been in recent years, but this line movement suggests many sharps aren’t sold by the strength of the conference this season, and I can’t blame them.
This is by far the weakest the SEC has been in recent years. The middle of the conference isn’t any better than the Big 12, Pac 12, or Big 10, which has been brought to light during the early part of the bowl season. The SEC is just 1-3 in its first four postseason contests, with their only win coming by two in triple OT over the Jayhawks. Even Alabama looked vulnerable outside of the conference this year, barely escaping Texas 20-19 in a game where the Longhorns finished with a backup quarterback.
With that being said, Georgia should be held in a different light than the rest of the SEC. Outside of a blip on the radar against Missouri early in the season, they ran through everyone in the conference with ease. They are a significant favorite for a reason, but this Ohio State team will be their most challenging test to date.
Photographer: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire