The Georgia Bulldogs aren't just favorites, but they're the biggest favorites we've ever seen for the College Football Playoff championship game.
Not that the CFP has a long history, but there has never been a double-digit favorite for the title game before this season. Alabama was -9 against Ohio State two seasons ago and covered easily in that game.
On Monday night, Georgia is favored by 13 over TCU at BetMGM. That seems like a lot for a championship game, but the Bulldogs are a worthy favorite.
Georgia won the national championship last season and is 14-0 this season heading into Monday night. It's a balanced team with a Heisman Trophy finalist, Stetson Bennett, at quarterback. This Bulldogs team might not have the quantity of NFL talent that last season's team had, but there are multiple future first-round picks on the roster. Kirby Smart has things rolling at Georgia.
TCU didn't get to the title game by accident. They score more than 40 points per game with QB Max Duggan spreading the ball around. They put up 51 in a semifinal win over Michigan. But Georgia's defense will present a different challenge.
Most bettors believe in TCU to at least cover. As of late last week, 77 percent of the bets on the spread were on TCU and the spread moved from its opener of Georgia -13.5 to -12.5, before coming back to -13.
Maybe there's a little bit of wishful thinking involved in those bets. You don't want to get to the end of the season and have a ridiculous blowout in the championship game. Georgia is certainly capable of making Monday's game a forgettable one by halftime. Perhaps TCU can score enough to keep it interesting.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
NBA has 6 games
It's a pretty quiet night in sports with the CFP title game taking up most of the attention. There are six NBA games though. There's a pretty good one at Madison Square Garden, as the Milwaukee Bucks take on the New York Knicks. The Bucks are a 1.5-point favorite but the Knicks have been pretty good this season. The Knicks have been streaky — they had an eight-game winning streak, a five-game losing streak and now are on a four-game winning streak — but overall they've looked more like two seasons ago when they made the playoffs. The Bucks are just 4-6 in their last 10 as they deal with backcourt injuries. The Knicks have a good shot at a strong home win.
The rest of the slate
It's a quiet night in college basketball, with the only game of any note being 13-2 Oral Roberts against 14-2 New Mexico. New Mexico is favored by 5.5. There are four NHL games. It's college football's night to shine.
What's the best bet?
I'll go with Georgia. TCU has shown they can beat really good teams, but the Bulldogs have been on this stage before and they have the talent on both sides of the ball to make life difficult on TCU. No disrespect to the Horned Frogs and their great season, I just see Georgia pulling away in the second half.