The four-team College Football Playoff field is set, and it features three superpowers plus one upstart program that is finally getting its chance. No. 1 Georgia will look to defend its national championship against No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl national semifinal, and No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 TCU will tee it up in Glendale, Arizona, in the Fiesta Bowl.
It'll be fascinating to see what happens on the odds board with both of these matchups over the next month. The Bulldogs and Buckeyes are traditional powers that spent the majority of the season in the top four, and they have two of the best rosters in the country. The Horned Frogs went from afterthought to undefeated regular-season power over the last three months and will take on a Wolverines team that is undefeated and riding high after their second straight Big Ten title.
The betting windows are open. Here are the early odds for the national semifinals courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
College Football Playoff odds
No. 1 Georgia (-7) vs. No. 4 Ohio State
No. 2 Michigan (-9.5) vs. No. 3 TCU
The oddsmakers view the matchup between the Bulldogs and Buckeyes as the closer of the two games. The reigning national champions have been a machine all season long, finishing off their run with a 50-30 win over LSU in the SEC Championship Game. Meanwhile, Ohio State is coming off of a blowout home loss to rival Michigan. And yet the Buckeyes are a one-touchdown dog. Why? The talent is there for the Buckeyes, but perhaps more importantly, they'll have a month off to prepare and get healthy -- particularly at running back.
TCU isn't getting any respect. The Horned Frogs plowed through arguably the toughest schedule in major college football and found ways to get it done in a variety of different ways. That's a sign of a battle-tested and complete team that deserves to be recognized as a worthy foe, not just a cute little story. Coach Sonny Dykes is one of the most innovative in college football, and a month to look at this Michigan team after grinding it out for two months will undoubtedly serve him well. Michigan is a juggernaut, though. Oddsmakers clearly think that this will be semifinal that isn't that competitive -- something that has happened quite often in the CFP era.
The lines will certainly move between now and New Year's Eve based on a variety of factors, and it'll be interesting to see how things progress during the layoff.