A directly rapid quantitative analysis method for chemical oxygen demand (COD) of wastewater was established by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and attenuated total reflection (ATR) technology. The combination selection of Savitzky-Golay (SG) smoothing modes combined with partial least squares (PLS) factor was applied to the model optimization here. The optimal smoothing parameters were 2nd order derivative smoothing, 6th degree polynomial and 51 smoothing points. The corresponding optimal PLS factor, root mean squared error of predication (RMSEP) and correlation coefficient of predication (RP) were 11, 24.4 (mg/L) and 0.968 respectively, which was obviously superior to the direct PLS model without SG smoothing. This demonstrated that the combination selection of SG smoothing parameters and PLS factor can be effectively applied to the model optimization for FTIR/ATR analysis of COD in wastewater.