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Ohio State vs Georgia Odds, Picks, Prediction | How to Bet Peach Bowl

Ohio State vs Georgia Odds, Picks, Prediction | How to Bet Peach Bowl article feature image
Credit:

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images and Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Tommy Eichenberg (35) of Ohio State and Darnell Washington (0) of Georgia.

Editor’s Note: Ohio State vs Georgia will not kick off until after the completion of the Fiesta Bowl between TCU and Michigan. The tentative kickoff time is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.

Ohio State vs Georgia Odds

Saturday, December 31
8:20 p.m. ET
ESPN
Ohio State Odds
Spread Over/Under Moneyline
+4.5
-110
62.5
-105o / -115u
+175
Georgia Odds
Spread Over/Under Moneyline
-4.5
-110
62.5
-105o / -115u
-215
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The comparisons are numerous for Ohio State and Georgia.

Outside of color scheme, these two programs are perennial top-five finishers in recruiting. Only twice has the College Football Playoff not included the Bulldogs or Buckeyes.

For all the similarities in blue blood success, it comes as a surprise that these two teams have met just once. Garrison Hearst’s MVP performance in Georgia’s 1993 Citrus Bowl victory serves as the only game of this series.

This will be the first time Georgia has ever been the top overall seed in the playoff after entering the semifinals last year as an at-large selection.

The Bulldogs lost an abundance of defensive contributions to the NFL from its National Championship team but returned with a new defensive coordinator and better offensive efficiency this season.

Georgia’s biggest issue has been periods of disinterest, as Kentucky and Missouri kept conference games close. The Bulldogs led by just 10 points in the fourth quarter against Kent State before icing the game.

As shown in its victory over Tennessee, when Georgia is the best team in the country when it’s interested.

The last time Ohio State entered the semifinals as the No. 4 seed, the Buckeyes were crowned the first-ever College Football Playoff champions.

This year’s team reached the playoff on a much different path after suffering a second-half meltdown against rival Michigan. Ohio State will enter the Peach Bowl after 37 days of questions about Jim Knowles’ scheme and Ryan Day’s aggressiveness.

There are plenty of areas in which Ohio State will have an advantage over Georgia, setting up a possible second College Football Playoff title.


Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes took a 20-17 lead into the second half against rival Michigan. They were 30 minutes away from reaching the Big Ten Championship with a good shot of entering the playoff as an undefeated team.

Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles used a zero blitz concept with the intention of plugging up Michigan’s run game. But with zero blitz considered the riskiest of blitz packages, Ohio State’s secondary was left on an island against multiple explosive passes.

#OhioState defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said he's "become more comfortable" with calling a zero blitz throughout his career because the pressure it puts on the offense. pic.twitter.com/ccP0Rn9A3l

— Lantern Sports (@LanternSports) September 13, 2022

Knowles will stick to his roots of using the zero blitz, expecting Ohio State to execute better tackling.

The Buckeyes had achieved their mission by halftime, limiting Blake Corum to six yards on two carries and Donovan Edwards to nine yards on just five rushing attempts.

Georgia’s offense runs the lowest rate of plays in passing downs of all teams in FBS. Knowles will be tasked with getting Georgia behind the chains, and executing that will fall directly on cornerback Cam Brown and safety Ronnie Hickman in tackling at the point of attack.

Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will take over Tulsa’s head coaching job, but there has been no interruption in preparation for the Peach Bowl.

Ohio State will look to get behind a Georgia defense that has allowed the fewest amount of 10-plus yard rushes in the nation. The Buckeyes thrive in the passing game when CJ Stroud doesn’t face pressure in the pocket.

CJ Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr. will save us all in 2024. pic.twitter.com/XEY4T1fjNs

— Indy Source (@SourceIndiana) December 27, 2022

Stroud ended the season with 32 touchdowns to just four interceptions when pressured by the opponent. The Buckeyes’ offensive line finished the season ranked top-15 in pass blocking, making a clean pocket the key to Ohio State getting into scoring position.

Outside the tackle box, the most crucial battle is the ability of the Buckeyes’ explosive targets to get free from the Georgia secondary.

The Bulldogs thrived in jamming Tennessee receivers at the line of scrimmage, so Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka must have clean releases.

Harrison lines up exclusively as a wideout and averages more than three yards per route run. Egbuka will attack the Georgia defense in a similar fashion as Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt — from the slot with one of the highest yards-per-route-run marks in the nation.

If Harrison and Egbuka release off the line of scrimmage with one-on-one coverage, Georgia may have its toughest assignment of the season.


Georgia Bulldogs

The toughest opponent the Bulldogs have faced this season is enthusiasm. They beat Kentucky by just 10, yet Georgia was in full control with a 98% post-game win expectancy. Kent State failed to make a bowl this season but posted a 64% Offensive Success Rate in the second half against the Bulldogs.

But when the chips were down and the lights shined the brightest, the Bulldogs came to play against Florida, Tennessee and LSU.

Jalen Carter will be a nightmare for Ohio State’s offensive line pic.twitter.com/hFGnfR3LAn

— Kendell Hollowell (@KHollowell_) December 28, 2022

Head coach Kirby Smart and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp prefer pressure to be generated from the down linemen in the trench. The Bulldogs’ pass rush rank of 76th is more of a reflection of how rare it is that Georgia sends a fifth or sixth defender at the quarterback.

The defense has been successful in shutting down the run in every capacity, ranking 10th in Defensive Rushing Success Rate and sixth against ground explosives allowed.

Georgia prefers to play in quarters coverage from a 3-4 base, allowing a linebacker to serve as a “creeper,” also known as a pass rusher with depth. Quarters coverage, also known as Cover 4, uses man-to-man principles downfield to eliminate explosives.

The defense has been excellent at defending the RPO while knocking receivers off their routes.

Bulldogs offensive coordinator Todd Monken has been just as lethal with a war chest of weapons. Georgia remains a run-first team behind the eighth-best run-blocking grade, as Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards have averaged more than five yards per carry on more than 300 carries.

Quarterback Stetson Bennett will look to move on to another national title game with his top weapons in tight end Brock Bowers and wide receiver Ladd McConkey.

Nearly half of Bowers’ targets have come in between the hash marks, putting Ohio State’s inside linebackers on notice.

McConkey is hopeful to see the field after suffering an injury late in the season. The sophomore leads the team in targets and has accounted for 37 first downs this season.

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Ohio State vs Georgia Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Ohio State and Georgia match up statistically:

Ohio State Offense vs Georgia Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 16 5
Line Yards 7 2
Pass Success 5 8
Pass Blocking** 14 76
Havoc 3 52
Finishing Drives 1 3
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs. Pass Rush (Def)

Georgia Offense vs Ohio State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 10 4
Line Yards 21 16
Pass Success 1 5
Pass Blocking** 6 5
Havoc 4 21
Finishing Drives 10 78
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 21 11
PFF Coverage 18 17
SP+ Special Teams 7 5
Seconds per Play 27.2 (87) 28.8 (109)
Rush Rate 53.6% (67) 53.1% (71)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics

Ohio State vs Georgia Picks, Prediction

All signs in this game point to points being scored. Knowles acknowledges that Ohio State will utilize the zero blitz package in the Peach Bowl in an attempt to stop the rush at the line of scrimmage.

The Buckeyes finished the season 21st in tackle grading, but all eyes will be on the secondary’s execution in that area. Hickman and Brown both missed crucial tackles against Michigan, while linebacker Tommy Eichenberg created only one pressure in the game.

If Ohio State’s defensive scheme remains unchanged, Georgia’s offense is sure to take a page out of Michigan’s book.

The Bulldogs will run plenty of counter run plays while looking for Bowers and tight end Darnell Washington in one-on-one coverage in an effort to get behind the Buckeyes.

Bennett will lead an offense that ranks top-10 in Standard Downs Success Rate into scoring position, where Georgia has a heavy advantage on the Ohio State defense.

The question is whether or not Stroud will be able to keep up.

The Bulldogs’ secondary flexed against Tennessee, allowing no separation for receiving targets. Egbuka and Harrison are considered the best route runners in the nation — a plus for Stroud, who is expected to have time in the pocket.

If Ohio State’s offensive line can identify the fourth rusher in the “creeper” 3-4, Stroud will execute at a Heisman level with a clean pocket.

Neither of these teams plays aggressively against the clock, although both Monken and Day have put their offense in uptempo situations to change the pace of the game. The primary task for both of these teams is to get behind the respective secondaries.

The Action Network projection makes Georgia a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 66.

If Ohio State’s tackling struggles continue in zero blitz and Georgia allows separation for Harrison and Egbuka, this number will go over the total. Look for Day to be as aggressive as possible after an embarrassing loss to Michigan, while Georgia runs whatever tempo is needed to keep up.

Pick: Ohio State +6.5 · Over 62.5 or Better

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