Georgia vs. Oklahoma Playoff Pick
Will the Georgia Bulldogs punch their ticket to the National Championship Game with a victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl this evening at 5:00 p.m. ET?
ODDSMAKERS LIKE: Georgia. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Bulldogs are 2.5-point favorites versus the Sooners, who opened as a 1-point favorite before the line jumped the fence. The total, meanwhile, hit the board at 60 before climbing to 61.
THE PUBLIC LIKES: Oklahoma. As of Monday morning, 52% of betting tickets are on the Sooners to cover the point spread and 51% of the money is also on Oklahoma.
INJURY REPORT: For the Bulldogs, linebacker Natrez Patrick is out for disciplinary reasons while running back Sony Michel (knee) and defensive back Malkom Parrish (undisclosed) is probable. On the other side, Baker Mayfield (illness) is probable and so is running back Rodney Anderson (disciplinary). Matt Romar (undisclosed) is out.
WHO WE LIKE: Georgia. Plenty of public bettors will align themselves with Mayfield because he's one of, if not, the biggest star in college football. He'll win the Heisman Trophy this year and rightfully so.
That said, let's not forget two years ago when he was all the rage and he was shut down by a non-Big 12 defense in Clemson. Granted, Mayfield has more experience then he did two years ago but he faces a similar situation (i.e. going up against the toughest defense he'll face all season on the biggest stage). The Dawgs rank fourth in total yards allowed, second in passing yards allowed, 11th in rushing yards allowed and third in points allowed (13.2).
Besides the numbers, I don't like the matchup for Oklahoma. Georgia can grind opponents down with its running game and if Mayfield is standing on the sidelines for extended periods of time, I could see him and that OU offense getting frustrated. The Dawgs' rushing attack protects its defense, which is usually fresh (and it'll need to be to contain Mayfield for four quarters).
Mayfield will make plays. That's what he does. But if that three-headed monster is rolling for UGA then it could be a long night for OU's defense and there will be nothing Mayfield can do about it.
The Bulldogs are 4-1 against the spread in their last five bowl games and are 8-2 against the number in their last 10 games following a win of more than 20 points.
ROSE BOWL PREDICTION: GEORIGA BULLDOGS -2.5