Georgia heads into the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Oklahoma as a slight favorite. According to OddsShark, Georgia is favored by 2.5 points in the Rose Bowl, and the over-under is set at 60 points.
Both teams performed well in Vegas this season. The Bulldogs have the slight edge going 9-4 against the spread, while the Sooners are 8-5 against the spread this season. Georgia’s games have trended towards the under with seven games going under the point total. Oklahoma’s games have been split evenly with six games hitting both the over and under.
This playoff matchup features two teams who have succeeded for different reasons. Georgia has relied on a stout defense, and a plethora of top running backs to reach the College Football Playoff. For the Sooners, it has been Baker Mayfield’s arm that has helped the Sooners survive a defense that has struggled at times.
Here’s a look at how the two teams matchup as well as our Rose Bowl prediction.
Georgia vs. Oklahoma: How They Got to the Rose Bowl
Both teams enter the Rose Bowl with a 12-1 record, but the Sooners are a bit hotter as Oklahoma is riding into Pasadena with an eight-game winning streak. Georgia’s signature victories include Notre Dame, Mississippi State and South Carolina. After getting blown out in their first matchup, Georgia defeated Auburn in their second meeting to win the SEC title, and advance to the College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma earned their biggest win early in the season defeating Ohio State 31-16 in Columbus, and the momentum continued for the rest of the season. The Sooners also had victories over TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas this season. Oklahoma’s only blemish came in a narrow loss to Iowa State.
The Sooners have one of the best offenses in the country, and are the only College Football Playoff team ranked in the top five in the country with 44.9 points per game. Georgia’s offense ranks 21st averaging 34.3 points each game.
However, Oklahoma is the only playoff team whose defense is not ranked in the top five. The Sooners defense is the weakest unit of any of the four teams, and ranks all the way down at 45th giving up 25 points per game. Oklahoma fans can find encouragement knowing the Sooners are only allowing 17 points in their last three matchups. Georgia’s defense is tied for second in the country as the unit allows 13.2 points a game.
Rose Bowl Prediction: Oklahoma Tops Georgia
The OddsShark computer likes Georgia’s chance to put up points on Oklahoma’s defense. The computer projects a 41.5-37.2 Bulldogs victory as the computer likes Georgia to cover the spread, and the over on the point total.
SB Nation’s S&P+ projections also likes Georgia to win. The projections have Georgia pulling off a narrow 34.2-32 victory.
Mayfield is not only the best quarterback in this game, but has been the best player in college football this season. Oklahoma’s defense is a weakness, but they have shown slight improvements over the last month of the season. Despite the strength of Georgia’s defense, they are going to find it challenging to stop the Oklahoma offense. The Sooners have too many weapons, and Heavy likes Mayfield’s ability to lead Oklahoma to victory. Georgia’s offense is not versatile enough to put up the points needed to match Oklahoma.
Heavy’s Pick: Oklahoma 31 Georgia 24. Oklahoma Covers +2.5 Spread. Under on the Point Total.
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