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College Football Playoff: Oklahoma vs Georgia Money Line Bet

Georgia Bulldogs(12-1) @ Oklahoma Sooners(12-1)

  • Where: Rose Bowl. Pasadena, CA
  • When: January 28, 2018 5:00 pm EST
  • Spread: Georgia (-2.5) vs Oklahoma (+2.5)
  • Moneyline: Georgia (-135) vs Oklahoma (+115)
  • Over / Under: Over 60 (-110) vs Under 60 (-110)

At last, the coaches are getting snippy. Oklahoma DC Mike Stoops has a quote going around about how the Georgia backfield is as loaded with rushing talent as…some of the recent OU backfields. Burn!

But it wouldn’t be like the 2017 Sooners to not engage in a war of words. Baker Mayfield even did it while beating Kansas by 38 points.

The superstar QB’s chances at a national title come down to a few basic principles. We can all agree that Oklahoma possesses a championship-level offense, a modern take on the ancient OU tradition of blocking and ball-distribution. But the question is, can the Sooner defense at least play like a conference winner?

The unit has looked the part recently. But an unexpected track meet with Oklahoma State and a loss to Iowa State, not to mention Baker Mayfield missing Thursday’s Disneyland trip with an illness, are keeping OU down in the odds. O/U total is holding fast at (60) points, meaning that Oklahoma isn’t expected to score like crazy…since the school is also (+2) on the point spread.

Georgia is yet another lower-CFP seed to be favored in the Semifinals, but it’s not without reason. The Bulldogs’ 28-7 win over Auburn in the SEC Championship was impressive in all 3 phases, and don’t forget a 38-7 beating of Georgia Tech in Clean Old Fashioned Hate the weekend prior. Bulldog student-athletes are riding high.

Sooner a senior than a frosh

Take MSB’s recommended (+115) money line bet on Oklahoma at Bet Online and get a 50% sign-up bonus.

Our friends at Bet Online became the leading online casino to react to Georgia-leaning action, offering a $1.15 on the dollar payout for a winning money line wager on the Sooners. Other books are sitting on (+105) or similar odds for OU. That has a lot to do with the action, as just enough wagers are being placed on Georgia to make odds-makers think twice.

MSB feels that bettors are being misled not by SEC bias but by “visions” of how the contest in Pasadena is likely to go. Yes, Georgia has the indomitable RB duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The Bulldogs can potentially control the ball and the game. But it’s just as likely Oklahoma takes an early lead and forces UGA out of a run-heavy game plan.

That leaves the match-up between Mayfield and freshman Jake Fromm of the favorites. Mayfield’s experience could turn the tide in a dozen different ways. For instance, many coaches think Oklahoma will open up 4-wide and present a faster-tempo passing attack than an SEC team is used to seeing. But that’s a 1-dimensional analysis because like most teams in most circumstances, OU is likely to run a formation on 1st down, another on 2nd down and so on.

The real weapon is mixing-and-matching for success against a tough defense, and Mayfield can execute a multiple offense and keep the Sooners in business against many defensive fronts. Oklahoma’s top 3 ball-carriers are averaging 5.9 yards a pop or more. Players like Chubb can score from anywhere, but is there a natural time-of-possession advantage for OU’s opponent here? Nah.

Doggedly bet against the popular lean

In contrast, Fromm was ineffective in the Bulldogs’ lone loss at Auburn thanks to pitiful run-blocking. Once the Tigers stuffed-up what Kirby Smart’s team wanted to do (run up the gut) there was no Plan B.

The most likely Georgia-win scenario is if Oklahoma’s defense can’t play any better than UGA’s vanquished foes in the SEC. Even Auburn eventually fell to a rejuvenated OL and monster LB corps in the conference-title rematch, and Notre Dame was cruelly denied by clock-chewing drives and stout run defense.

Georgia’s offensive and defensive units complement each other well, that’s why they’re 12-1. But with the OU defense turning a corner (whipping TCU from pillar-to-post for 8 quarters certainly qualifies) the question lingers as to whether Fromm can produce against a big-time team at the top of its game.

Oklahoma’s defense was dynamite in September against Ohio State, suffered a mid-season slump, then blasted their top conference rival to win the Big 12. It looks too much like a trend line to ignore.

CFP Semifinal: Winning Money Line Upset Wager

The (+115) odds on OU are too good to pass up.

Not a lock, not a hunch…just a solid chance that the rise of the Sooners over the past 3-4 weeks is not a mirage. Mayfield will have had several days and some California sun to kick a what is most likely a minor flu. And sniffles or not, a senior QB is better than a green-horn.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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