UGA opens as 6.5-point favorite vs. Buckeyes

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Oddsmakers indicate that Georgia's path to the title game is tougher than Michigan's but the Bulldogs are still the odds-on favorite to win the national championship.

Georgia opens as 6.5-point favorite vs. Ohio State 4:46 PM ET Doug KezirianESPN Sports Betting Insider Close ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Host of Daily Wager Behind The Bets podcast host Oddsmakers indicate that No. 2 Michigan has an easier path to the national championship game than No. 1 Georgia . The top-ranked Bulldogs are 6.5-point favorites over No. 4 Ohio State , while the Wolverines are favored by 9.5 points over No. 3 TCU . "Michigan is clearly the much better team but we feel that TCU has fought through adversity all year long and we came up with a line just short of a touchdown and a field goal," Caesars Sportsbook vice president of trading Craig Mucklow told ESPN. "Both have a tendency to put on a show in the second half so we will see how TCU reacts to playing a defense of this caliber and if [John] Harbaugh and [J.J.] McCarthy can keep this offense churning." Editor's Picks Mucklow said the trading team met Saturday night to discuss the point spreads, since they anticipated these two playoff matchups. The top two teams remained undefeated by winning their conference title games, while TCU suffered its first loss in overtime. Conventional wisdom figured Ohio State would get the final bid and face the Bulldogs, since USC had lost on Friday night in the PAC-12 title game. "We are confident Georgia is the much better team in this spot and we will see which way our respected bettors will move this line," Mucklow said, sharing that the game being played in Atlanta did give Georgia a small boost. "Not only has Georgia's defense been the most impressive unit all year long but Stetson Bennett put on a show in the SEC title game." Georgia remains the odds-on favorite to win the national championship at -135, followed by Michigan (+290) and Ohio State (+350). The Horned Frogs are 16-1 to win two more games. Following Ohio State's home loss to Michigan on Nov. 26, the Buckeyes reopened as a 50-1 longshot. However, sportsbooks received a steady flow of action from bettors knowing that Ohio State was far from eliminated from the national championship discussion. In a matter of days, those odds sat at +350.