Georgia Odds To Win The National Football Championship in 2018
Anaylzying Georgia's Stock
Surprisingly, Georgia hasn't won a national championship since 1980 despite being a perennial SEC power. In attempt to clear the hurdle of good, but not great seasons, Georgia fired longtime head coach Mark Richt after the 2015 season paving the way for the Kirby Smart regime. Smart went 8-5 in year one, but has worked out exactly the way the Bulldogs faithful hoped this year leading UGA to a 12-1 record and the school's first appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Throughout the season, Georgia benefitted from a down SEC East, dominating each of its divisional rivals. How dominant was Georgia in the East? UGA beat Tennessee by 41, Vanderbilt by 31, Missouri by 25, Florida by 35, South Carolina by 14 and Kentucky by 29. The Bulldogs have played in just one close game this year - a 20-19 win over Notre Dame Sept.9. While it's clear that Georgia is a very good team, it's also worth questioning how they will fare in a nip-and-tuck game.
Georgia has shown the ability to score points in bunches and limit opposing offenses. That's a great recipe for winning football, but here's a closer look at the Bulldogs by the numbers:
- 9 Georgia opponents have scored 14 points or less this year
- Georgia has failed to score 30 points only three times this year
- Georgia ranks 4th in the nation in total defense; opening round playoff opponent Oklahoma ranks 1st in total offense
- Georgia is ranked 37th in total offense
- Georgia has the 11th best rushing offense in the country at 263.5 yards per contest
- Georgia allows the second fewest passing yards per game (158.3); Oklahoma is third in passing offense (367.4)
First things first, Georgia will probably have to win two games as the underdog in order to bring home the championship. In game 1, Georgia will travel west to Pasadena, CA for a Rose Bowl tilt with Oklahoma in a game where most sportsbooks have the Sooners listed as a 1 or 2-point favorite.
The Sooners will be the best offensive team Georgia has faced all year and will present considerable challenges for the Georgia secondary. The cliche goes that good defense beats good offense, but the best passing team Georgia has faced this year (Missouri) managed to score 28 points. Oklahoma is Georgia on steroids led by the likely Heisman Trophy winner in QB Baker Mayfield.
If able to escape Oklahoma, Georgia will be greeted by the winner of Alabama/Clemson in the National Championship Game. Either way, Georgia would be facing the best statistical defense it has encountered all season. Both teams are stellar against the run which is Georgia's offensive identify. Either present a bad matchup for the bulldogs in my opinion.
+333 on Georgia to win the title seems like a reach. More importantly, it seems less financially responsible than simply paying a two-game parlay. A bettor who loves Georgia's chances can realize similar returns while assuming less risk simply by playing Georgia on the moneyline in game 1 and reinvesting a portion of the winnings and original stake on the moneyline in the championship game should Georgia make it that far. The Bulldogs have a tough road ahead, but the same thing can be said of the other three teams in the playoffs.
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