The NCAAF playoffs are finally here. After a crazy Conference Championship weekend, Ohio State was able to sneak back into the CFP and TCU remained in the top 4 despite losing to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game.
Both Georgia and Michigan are large favorites in their semi-final games, so it should be no surprise that they are both co-favorites to win the CFB National Championship. The question is if Ohio State or TCU can disrupt the National Championship picture as large underdogs.
We'll take a look ahead at the four teams and break down who we see coming out on top with our best free NCAAF picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash.
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NCAAF semi-final games:
- Georgia Bulldogs vs Ohio State Buckeyes - December 31st 2022, 20:00 ET
- Michigan Wolverines vs TCU Horned Frogs - December 31st 2022, 16:00 ET
Georgia Bulldogs (-125)
The Georgia Bulldogs finally won a college football championship for the first time in 41 years as they finally managed to defeat Nick Saban and the rival Crimson Tide in the 2022 title game.
Their defense of that title kicked off with a 49-3 thumping of the No. 11-ranked Oregon Ducks.
Their standout win of the season was a huge 27-13 win over then No. 1-ranked Tennessee, in which they held the No. 1 scoring offense to just 289 total yards. It was a total masterclass.
They followed that up with a trio of double-digit wins before battering LSU in the SEC Championship Game, securing an unbeaten 13-0 record for the season and the number one ranking in the CFP.
Ohio will be a really tough game in the semi-finals, but if they overcome them as expected then you'd be crazy to bet against them going back-to-back.
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Michigan Wolverines (+300)
Georgia is the best CFB team this season, but Michigan are not far behind. The Bulldogs benefitted from not having to face Alabama in the SEC Championship game, and people are overlooking the strength of the Big Ten.
That is why Michigan is the best CFB National Championship bet.
They upset Ohio State, 45-23, and they easily handled Purdue in the Big Ten Championship. On top of that they play a TCU team that doesn’t deserve to be in the College Football Playoff and have a pretty easy route to the final.
The Wolverines had largely flown under the radar but now people are really starting to pay attention and there is a real chance they can win their first title since 1997 when Tom Brady was part of their roster.
Jim Harbaugh sought to prove that last year's success was no fluke and he's done just that.
With a relatively straight-forward game against LSU to come before a final, they should be able to preserve a bit of energy before the big game and they will have a really good chance of finding success.
Ohio State Buckeyes (+375)
Ohio State and Georgia kept trading places this season as National Championship favorites with Ohio State usually slightly behind Georgia on the odds board.
That all changed when the Ohio State team lost to the undefeated Michigan side, and it almost cost them a spot in the playoffs.
Ohio State’s toughest test will be against Georgia in the semi-finals. If they beat the Bulldogs, they should be only a small underdog against Michigan in the National Championship game.
While picking the Buckeyes to win the National Championship is a smart bet, their odds aren't the best when considering their opposition. You'd probably be better off with a bet on them to win the semi-final clash and then throw that all on the final, because they'll be underdogs in both.
However, Ohio State got the help it needed with USC suffering its second loss of the season in the Pac-12 title game, leaving the door open for the one-loss Buckeyes to sneak into the CFP.
They are now locked into the No. 4 spot and are a decent long-shot option if you can sense another upset in these final games, but don't go too heavy on it because it's unlikely.
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TCU Horned Frogs (+1800)
While their chances at a national title look slim, the TCU Horned Frogs were very much the Cinderella story of the 2022 college football season.
Led by the willpower of Heisman finalist Max Duggan, TCU somehow kept an undefeated record until it fell to Kansas State in overtime in the Big 12 title game last weekend.
Oddsmakers have the Frogs listed as an 8-point underdog vs. Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl and if they're somehow able to get a win over the odds-on favorites in this game, then why can't they go all the way.
Nobody would have picked them to get this far back when the season started, and nobody is going to pick them to go all the way even now.
But at +1800 they're surely worth a small flutter considering everything that has already happened, but it won't be us telling you to do it.