The Georgia Bulldogs and the Oklahoma Sooners will meet in that ages-old college football wagering tradition known as the Tournament of Roses. Wait, that’s not right. First of all, roses can’t do sports. Second, it’s the 2018 Rose Bowl. And this is, to paraphrase the Bard, a rose by another name. And that name is College Football Playoff semifinal. It will be a good ol’ clash between offense and defense. Specifically, the Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Bulldogs safety Dominick Sanders.
— Rose Bowl Game (@rosebowlgame) December 19, 2017
The 2018 Rose Bowl – College Football Playoff semifinal
- Date: Monday, 1st January
- Time: 5:05 PM
- Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Online sportsbook odds:
Georgia PK (-130) 60 (-110) -130
Oklahoma PK (+110) 60 (-110) +110
The Sooners tend to go under against the SEC
Heisman trophy winner Mayfield is the wind beneath Oklahoma’s wings. He has thrown 13 TDs and no picks in the last four games. His preferred target is tight end Mark Andrews. Andrews leads the team in receiving touchdowns and is second in receiving. On the other hand, the Sooners have the worst defense in the CFP. They rank 81st in the country in yards allowed but they have at least held opposing teams to 25 points per game, and ranked opponents to 20 points or fewer in three of four matchups this year (Ohio State once and TCU twice). “I haven’t won the biggest prize yet,” Mayfield said. “The biggest prize is [winning the national title game] in Atlanta. I’ve always been a team guy and that’s right there in front of us.”
The sports betting total has gone under in seven of Oklahoma’s last eight games against SEC teams. Additionally, Oklahoma is 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games playing a team with a winning record and 5-1 against the college football wagering spread in their last six games overall.
Georgia has been an 80% effective proposition to cover in a bowl game
The Bulldogs have one of the best defenses in the country at every position but especially at linebacker. It’s such a deep unit that junior defensive lineman Trent Thompson was almost inconspicuous by his absence at the Bulldogs’ fourth bowl-game practice on Monday. Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith lead Georgia in tackles, sacks, and QB hurries. Auburn was the only program that got the best of UGA’s defense, but it was mostly on the ground, as the Bulldogs held Jarrett Stidham to 214 passing yards. Not dissimilarly, the Sooners’ preferred avenue of attack is the air and not the ground, though Mayfield is not averse to doing some legwork when need be. Georgia’s offense, on the other hand, is pretty run-happy. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel rank third and ninth respectively in the SEC in rushing yards. They have combined for more than 2,000 yards and 26 TDs.
Georgia is 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games, 10-4 against the college football wagering spread in their last 14 games overall, and 9-3 SU in its last 12 games in January.