The College Football Playoff is set and we’re three games away from deciding the next national champion. While there are numerous ways to bet on the outcome, we’ve settled on two must-make bets on the 2023 CFP champion. Keep reading for expert advice!
CFP Final Exact Matchup Betting Pick
We’ll be honest: we’re not in love with the individual matchup bets. In both semi-finals games — Michigan-TCU and Georgia-Ohio State — the favored team has to cover about a touchdown spread. As you might imagine, the moneylines are lopsided on both those games too. So rather than picking individual games, we’re latching onto the CFP Final exact matchup wager, which is being offered at top football betting sites:
|Georgia vs. Michigan
|Michigan vs. Ohio State
|Georgia vs. TCU
|TCU vs. Ohio State
In order to narrow down this bet, we do have to evaluate each matchup. Let’s begin with the more anticipated showdown between two college football powerhouses — the Buckeyes and Bulldogs. Georgia is the favored team, as they should be. The reigning champions steamrolled into an undefeated regular season, then dropped 50 points on LSU in the SEC title game. Outside of one close game vs. Missouri, the Dawgs have not been challenged once this year.
Ohio State, meanwhile, snuck into the playoffs despite losing to Michigan at the end of the year. That’s not the kind of momentum you want going against into a matchup versus the best opponent the Buckeyes have faced all year (an SEC defense is nothing like the Big Ten). Throw in that this Peach Bowl is taking place in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium — making it a de facto Bulldogs home game — and welp, you know why we’re pessimistic the Buckeyes can even stay competitive. We’re penciling in Georgia as the winner here.
That narrows down our betting options to either Georgia vs. Michigan or Georgia vs. TCU. In that other semi-finals clash, most are writing off TCU as they are with Ohio State. The Wolverines also went unbeaten, including 20-point wins over the Buckeyes and then the Boilermakers in the conference championship. The Horned Frogs, meanwhile, lost its conference title game in overtime.
When pouring through the Fiesta Bowl matchup closer, the Michigan vs. TCU quickly becomes a classic styles clash. On one hand, you have an “old school” team like the Wolverines, built on running the rock and a suffocating defense. TCU is the antithesis of that, living and dying by its high-octane passing game, engineered by Heisman finalist quarterback Max Duggan. We’d give the edge to Michigan here over TCU. That defense is built on taking away the big play and forcing opponents to earn every yard and convert on third down. We anticipate Duggan to struggle in that environment.
So yes, our prediction is a CFP Final between Michigan and Georgia. Both those teams have been the runaway best teams in college football this season — and no other program is even close. That outcome’s moneyline is as good as you’ll get at this stage of the year.
2023 NCAAF National Champion Pick
For our second bet, we're going to be wagering on who ends up becoming the 2023 NCAA national champion. We've already written off Ohio State's and TCU's betting chances, but here's where the odds stand for the other two teams:
A Georgia-Michigan showdown would be a rematch of last year's Orange Bowl, in which the Bulldogs rolled to a 23-point victory. Does the outcome change a year down the line? We think that's very plausible and that's because we're of the belief that Michigan is better and Georgia is worse compared to last year's teams.
Quarterback J.J. McCarthy raises the ceiling of the Wolverines. A year ago, he was getting snaps here and there, but McCarthy is now the main in Ann Arbor. His dual-threat ability complements the run-first offense. In fact, we could see Michigan's run-heavy offense giving the Bulldogs fits. Yes, an SEC defense is a significant step up in competition for the Wolverines, but Georgia's defense is much more vulnerable this year than last. The reigning champs lost plenty of defensive stars to the NFL Draft and haven't reloaded to the same degree.
But more than anything else, we just see a lot more hunger from Michigan than Georgia, who have already reached the sport's mountaintop. Complacency is a very real thing, especially with young adults. So we're calling it now, the Wolverines pull off the upset and win the natty!
How To Bet On College Football Playoffs?
The Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl are both on December 31. That gives you a decent amount of time to get your College Football Playoffs bets in. If you need a trusty sportsbook to do just that — plus wager on the other non-CFP bowl games — then hit one of the bookmakers listed underneath. The sites you see featured here were carefully chosen based on our latest sportsbook reviews, which gave high marks to the bookies for their college betting experience.
If you join one of these bookies right now, you can even earn a hefty sign-up bonus in the range of $500 to $2500 in free play. Just imagine how many bets you could make for free with that type of free money? The table lists the best bonuses available right now — just pick one and you're on your way to free riches!