The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl brings us an exciting College Football Playoff semifinal matchup featuring the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) against the #1 Georgia Bulldogs (13-0). Both teams have become accustomed to CFP appearances.
Saturday’s semifinal showdown kicks off at 8 p.m. EST inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The Bulldogs are a 6.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is 62.5 points.
What to Know – #4 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are back in the CFP after missing out last year. Ohio State was the favorite to win the title early in the season and looked the part for the majority of the year up until their blowout loss to Michigan.
The Ohio State offense was one of the top offenses in college football averaging 44.5 points and 492.7 yards of total offense per contest. Defensively, the Buckeyes were much improved this year holding opponents to 19.3 points and 303.9 yards of offense.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud was a Heisman finalist and finished the regular season throwing for 3,340 yards, 37 touchdowns, and six interceptions. His favorite targets were Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, who both eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving and combined for 21 touchdown receptions.
OSU was 5-6-1 against the spread during the regular season and 1-5 ATS over its final six contests. The Buckeyes are 2-6 ATS over the previous eight matchups against opponents from the SEC.
What to Know – #1 Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia came into the season as the top team in the preseason and fell out of that position early in the year. The Bulldogs never waivered, closing out an undefeated season and blowing out the LSU Tigers, 50-30, in the SEC Championship.
Offensively, the Bulldogs scored 39.2 points and averaged 491.9 yards of offense. Georgia’s defense was strong again in 2022, holding teams to 12.8 points and 292.1 yards of offense.
Senior quarterback Stetson Bennett joined Stroud as a Heisman finalist after quietly putting together a solid senior campaign. Bennett threw for a career-high 3,425 yards with 20 touchdowns passing and seven on the ground.
The Bulldogs were 7-6 ATS during the year and 2-1 ATS in neutral-site matchups. Georgia is 8-2 ATS in its last ten games played during the month of December.
The Pick is In
Ohio State has the ability on offense to give the Bulldogs fits with Stroud and his receiving core. The matchup to watch will be if the Buckeyes’ offensive line can give Stroud enough time to throw in the pocket against Georgia’s stout defensive front.
The tight ends for Georgia will cause matchup nightmares for OSU’s defense, but if the Buckeyes can limit the big plays, it’ll give Ohio State the edge.
Ohio State is equipped with the coaching staff and players to give the Bulldogs the biggest test. We like the Buckeyes to cover in a high-scoring, entertaining semifinal matchup.
The Pick: #4 Ohio State Buckeyes +6.5