FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Sports fans – and certainly sports bettors – love nothing more than coming up with hypothetical odds for a matchup that won’t happen. The latest effort involves Georgia and Michigan in a hypothetical College Football Playoff national championship game.
Of course, the Wolverines are facing Washington in the very real title game Monday night in Houston. But what would the spread be if Michigan was going up against two-time defending national champion Georgia, which just blasted Florida State into the sun?
I connected with PointsBet sports trader Will Radice about what he would make the number, his logic behind it and how much he and likely countless other oddsmakers are looking forward to the expanded playoff come next season.
Let’s jump into the fun.
Power Play on Power Rankings
“I would open the game at a pick ‘em, assuming it’s the same Georgia team that played Florida State. With a healthy Brock Bowers, I may move to -1 in favor of Georgia,” Radice said.
The Seminoles and Bulldogs finished Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, in the College Football Playoff rankings, so both missed out on the four-team playoff.
But a key reason why Florida State missed out – despite being 13-0 – is because standout quarterback Jordan Travis suffered a serious leg injury late in the season. This wasn’t the same Florida State team. And in late December, backup Tate Rodemaker said he was entering the transfer portal, leaving third-string Brock Glenn to start against Georgia.
Florida State had several other key players opt out or enter the transfer portal. Granted, that’s a huge advantage for the Bulldogs, who closed as massive 23.5-point favorites. But still, Georgia then went out and won the game 63-3 – the largest margin of victory ever in a bowl game.
After Michigan edged Alabama 27-20 in overtime in the CFP semis, the Georgia-Michigan speculation took off.
“I would have it at a pick or slightly favor Georgia, largely because of the matchup and power rankings,” Radice said. “The teams are very close overall in power rankings, but I think Georgia’s higher-powered offense would give it an edge. Oddsmakers consider things such as how the team strengths match up, which would be a positive for the Bulldogs, but also how healthy the teams are, which would have potentially been a negative.”
That potential negative still wouldn’t have been enough for Radice to make Michigan the favorite at PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience.
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Expanding the Possibilities
If next season’s playoff format existed this year, such speculation might not have been necessary. Georgia and Florida State both would’ve made the CFP, and perhaps the Bulldogs and Michigan would’ve met on the field to settle it in reality.
The new format – 12 teams, 11 games, with the top four teams getting first-round byes – is already a winner in oddsmakers’ minds.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the expanded playoff,” Radice said. “It should help to eliminate a lot of these what-if scenarios while also giving underdogs a shot at winning it all. The handle on these games could be huge, depending on the matchups.”
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.
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