No. 4 Ohio State will play No. 1 Georgia in a College Football Playoff semifinal game on Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. ET. Legal sportsbooks will go live in Ohio four hours later.
Oof. Talk about unfortunate timing!
It should be criminal that Ohio State plays Georgia 4 hours before sports betting is legal in Ohio
— Greenburg (@_Greenburg_) December 4, 2022
Die-hard Ohio State fans, of which there are many, likely won’t be able to legally wager on the Buckeyes in Ohio until after the game concludes. Perhaps the game takes over four hours to reach its end, giving fans a chance to place some late-game live bets, but that’s no guarantee.
So could the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the state’s sports betting regulator, give the go-ahead for an earlier launch? Don’t bet on it, according to a spokesperson with the OCCC. The plan is still to launch at midnight on Jan. 1, 2023.
Buckeyes underdogs against Georgia
While mobile sportsbooks aren’t yet available for use in Ohio, sportsbooks that will soon operate in the state are offering lines on the game — and the Buckeyes are underdogs across the country.
BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel, and PointsBet list Ohio State as a 6.5-point underdog against the Bulldogs, who are undefeated and the reigning national champions. Ohio State’s moneyline is listed at +210 at a few mobile sportsbooks. The total for the game is listed at 61.5 at multiple sportsbooks.
While Ohio State is an underdog, the Buckeyes are better than their 22-point loss to Michigan in their regular-season finale. ESPN ranks Ohio State as the nation’s most efficient offense, and the defense was burned by explosive plays in the loss to the Wolverines. If the defense limits big plays, the Buckeyes are one of the few teams in the nation with the overall talent to compete with Georgia.
A fully healthy Ohio State can beat Georgia. Period.
— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) December 4, 2022
Cincinnati bowl game filled with drama
Elsewhere in Ohio, the University of Cincinnati has itself a new head football coach. The Bearcats are replacing Luke Fickell with Louisville’s Scott Satterfield, it was announced Monday.
In an interesting twist, Louisville and Cincinnati will face off on Dec. 17 in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl in Boston. The two programs are rivals, although they haven’t played since 2013, and Satterfield’s decision to leave Louisville for Cincinnati only adds to the rivalry.
First question that should be asked at new Cincinnati coach Scott Satterfield’s introductory press conference:
“Will you still coach in the bowl?”
Satterfield: “Which team are you referring to?”
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 5, 2022
Satterfield is 76-48 as a head coach, leading Louisville and Appalachian State during his career. He was 25-24 at Louisville and 51-24 at App State.
Louisville was a 2-point favorite at multiple sportsbooks at the time of publication.
Photo: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY