Georgia quarterback JT Daniels warms up before an NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
- The No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats take on the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia at noon ET on Friday, Jan. 1
- Cincy dual-threat quarterback Desmond Ridder is the Bearcats’ best player, while USC transfer QB JT Daniels has been a revelation in three 2020 starts for the Bulldogs
- See the best player and team scoring props for the New Year’s Six bowl below
The No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats have a legit claim as the best Group of 5 squad in the College Football Playoff era – and still finished well out of the final four mix in the final 2020 rankings. Now, Luke Fickell’s team will carry that chip on its shoulder against the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day. Kickoff is set for noon ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Meanwhile, Kirby Smart’s team had national championship aspirations entering the 2020 campaign. But double-digit losses to the two best teams on the Dawgs’ SEC-only schedule (a 41-24 defeat to Alabama Oct. 17 and 44-28 loss to Florida Nov. 7) derailed any chance for a second trip to the CFP semis in school history.
Despite those losses, the Bulldogs make the short trip from Athens as touchdown favorites.
With this game arguably the most intriguing of the New Year’s Six bowls, there are also several interesting player props to bet on as well.
Georgia vs Cincinnati Peach Bowl Player Props
|Quarterback||Passing Yards||Passing Touchdowns||Completions|
|JT Daniels (Georgia)||237.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||1.5 (Ov -128 / Un -102)||17.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)|
|Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati)||208.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||1.5 (Ov +200 / Un -280)||19.5 (Ov -106 / Un -120)|
|Running Back||Rushing Yards||Receiving Yards||Total Rushing + Receving Yards|
|Zamir White (Georgia)||75.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||N/A||N/A|
|Gerrid Doaks (Cincinnati)||53.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||N/A||N/A|
|WR/TE||Receiving Yards||Receptions||Receiving Touchdowns|
|Kearis Jackson (Georgia)||50.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||3.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||N/A|
|George Pickens (Georgia)||58.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||3.5 (Ov -178 / Un +134)||N/A|
|Josh Whyle (Cincinnati)||33.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||2.5 (Ov -132 / Un +104)||N/A|
|Alec Pierce (Cincinnati)||43.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||2.5 (Ov -142 / Un +110)||N/A|
All odds taken Dec. 31 at FanDuel
Georgia and Cincinnati have strong defensive identities (they’re Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in ESPN’s SP+ efficiency rating) – which figures since both Smart and Fickell come from a defensive background. But each team’s skill players provide plenty of wagering options, starting with the Bearcats QB.
Since Cincy’s 42-13 blowout victory over SMU on Oct. 24, the junior from Louisville has been one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. He’s been well over 207.5 passing yards in four of the five games since and tossed at least a pair of touchdowns in three of the five outings over the last two months.
Both props are enticing here, but I’ll go with the safer one. Yes, the Dawgs are the best defense he’s faced this season. But I still like the over for his passing yards.
- The pick: Desmond Ridder Over 207.5 passing yards (-113)
Ridder’s counterpart is another wagering option. In three starts for UGA, Daniels has thrown for 839 yards, nine touchdowns and just one interception. He’s gone over 237.5 passing yards in two of those three outings. This game could set up as a showcase game for him if the former Trojan decides to return for 2021.
In the last couple days I’ve heard this on Atlanta sports radio:
* UGA qb JT Daniels will be the Heisman favorite next year.
* Daniels will be the No. 1 pick in the ‘22 draft.
*Daniels is on the same path as Joe Burrow.
Good luck to that young man.
— Dean Buchan (@DeanBuchan) December 31, 2020
As noted above, Cincy’s defense is for real. But I’m buying the hype, too.
- The pick: JT Daniels Over 237.5 passing yards (-113)
2021 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
Runaway Running Backs
The Peach Bowl figures to be a tight one, with both teams having something to prove. That narrative applies to each starting tailback’s prospects.
Zamir White has exceeded 75.5 rushing yards in four of the past five games. And while Daniels has been a settling influence on Todd Monken’s offense, the balance that White has provided recently can’t be overlooked. While he may not explode the way Nick Chubb and Sony Michel did in the CFP three years ago, I like the sophomore to make the most of his opportunities and approach the century mark on the ground.
- The pick: Zamir White Over 75.5 rushing yards (-113)
On the Cincy side, Doaks will have to compete with Ridder for being the Bearcats’ rushing leader in this one.
That said, 53.5 yards toting the rock is not a large number. The senior has surpassed that total in five of his last seven games. Plus, he’s coming off an embarrassing performance in the AAC title game against Tulsa, going for only 13 yards on seven carries. Doaks will be highly motivated in Hotlanta.
- The pick: Gerrid Doaks Over 53.5 rushing yards (-113)
Let’s Wait A-Whyle
As for who’s catching balls from Daniels and Ridder, the player with the greatest upside for me (while retaining decent value) is Cincinnati’s tight end.
Highest-graded TEs in College Football
1. Kyle Pitts, Florida – 96.0
2. Josh Whyle, Cincinnati – 90.1
3. Cade Otton, Washington – 89.0
4. Shaun Beyer, Iowa – 88.5
5. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin – 85.5
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— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 1, 2020
Whyle has had three grabs or more in four of his last five games (and found the end zone in two of those outings). With Georgia potentially bringing heat unlike any opponent Ridder has seen this season, the tight end is always a nice security blanket. That’s why I love sophomore in this spot.
- The pick: Josh Whyle Over 2.5 receptions (-132)
Blair Johnson is a veteran journalist and seasoned sports content creator. He has been writing and producing content as long as he can remember, with such familiar names as CNN, NFL Media and Yahoo. Blair currently lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.