The college football season wraps up Monday night with No. 1 Georgia meeting No. 3 TCU at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with the national championship on the line. Georgia opened as a 13.5-point favorite in the game on New Year's Day and despite some fluctuations in the line over the last week, we're right back where we started at in terms of the betting line. One reason for that is a massive bet that came through at BetMGM on Monday afternoon.
Bettor risks $550,000 on Georgia to cover
On Monday morning, Georgia was a 12.5-point favorite against TCU. One bettor decided the number had gotten low enough for them to invest.
On Monday afternoon, BetMGM took a $550,000 wager on Georgia to win the national championship by at least 13 points. If Georgia covers the spread, the bettor will win a profit of $500,000. Immediately after taking the bet, BetMGM moved the point spread a full point in favor of Georgia, making them a 13.5-point favorite.
The Georgia Bulldogs are looking for their second consecutive national championship and in the process are looking to become the first team to win back-to-back championships in the College Football Playoff era. Georgia failed to cover as a 6.5-point favorite in its semifinal game against Ohio State.
On the other side, TCU has exceeded expectations all season long. The Horned Frogs are 10-3-1 against the spread. They've been a betting underdog three times this season, earning outright victories in that role against Oklahoma, Texas and Michigan.
Late money backing Georgia, but bettors like TCU
At BetMGM, 68% of bets are backing TCU to cover as a 13.5-point underdog on Monday night. The Horned Frogs are popular underdogs as they've exceeded expectations every step of the way. Nobody expected them to be here, yet here they are.
However, a lot of the big-money bets such as the one mentioned above are backing Georgia. As kickoff approaches, more and more money is backing Georgia.
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) January 9, 2023
Despite just 32% of total bets backing Georgia, the betting handle consists of 64% of money backing the Bulldogs. That means a lot of smaller bets and public bettors are backing TCU. The bettors with the larger pockets appear to be backing Georgia.
BetMGM will have to pay out a big bet even if TCU wins
Back in October, a bettor in New Jersey placed a $1,000 bet on TCU to win the national championship at 150-to-1 odds. If TCU wins on Monday night, the bettor will profit $150,000.
Overall on the season at BetMGM, 10% percent of bets and over 16% of the money has been backing Georgia to win the national championship. TCU has received nearly 13% of bets and just under 10% of the money. TCU was the third-most popular bet of the season while Georgia was fifth. Michigan and Tennessee were the two most popular bets while Ohio State was the fourth-most popular bet.