I am curious how 5Dimes decides which college and NFL teams to match in these most win props. Arizona State and the Arizona Cardinals , and Florida State and Miami I can obviously understand. But Georgia and Indianapolis? What ties do those teams have? The Colts are just behind New England (+390) to win the AFC title this season at +400, while Georgia is the +475 second-favorite behind Alabama (+305) to win the SEC Championship Game. The Colts are -125 on the wins prop with the Bulldogs at -105.
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The Dawgs haven't played for the SEC title since 2012, a close loss to No. 2 Alabama, and haven't won it since 2005. How much longer is the school going to give Coach Mark Richt? Georgia is always good but not really an elite program these days.
Georgia finished a solid 10-3 last year and ninth in the final Associated Press Top 25. It could have easily been a 12-win season as the Dawgs lost by just three at South Carolina early in the season and by six in overtime against Georgia Tech to close the regular season. Alas, that USC defeat coupled with a loss to Florida was enough to keep UGa from winning the SEC East even though it destroyed the team that did, Missouri, 34-0. Georgia closed the season with a pretty impressive 37-14 win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl.
The star of last year's team was supposed to be running back Todd Gurley. He got off to a very strong start in the first five games, rushing for at least 131 yards in four of them and stamping himself a Heisman favorite. But then he was suspended four games for accepting money for his autograph. Gurley returned for only one game, a 34-7 rout of Auburn, and rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown but suffered a season-ending knee injury. The Rams still took a shot on him at No. 10 overall in this year's draft. It would still be an upset if he's ready for Week 1.
The bright side of Gurley being sidelined so often was the emergence of true freshman tailback Nick Chubb. He rushed 219 times for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns. Chubb rushed for at least 113 yards in each of his final eight games. That was capped by a school and SEC bowl record 266 yards rushing in the win over Louisville. Chubb is a +1225 third-favorite to become Georgia's first Heisman winner since a guy named Herschel Walker. Chubb's only weakness? He's blind as a bat without his contact lenses: "If they come out, I'm coming out," Chubb joked if that happened in a game.
Chubb clearly will be the focal point of the UGa offense, although fellow sophomore Sony Michel, a very touted recruit himself, will also get some carries. We still don't know who will start at quarterback with Hutson Mason having moved on. It's down to Brice Ramsey and Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert. Faton Bauta has clearly moved to third in the pecking order. Georgia holds its final scrimmage on Thursday, so we might have an announcement soon after. Or maybe Richt plays both in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. Georgia brings back 12 starters overall, seven on offense.
Georgia should be 4-0 when it hosts No. 3 Alabama on Oct. 3 in likely the most important SEC crossover game of the season. The Dawgs will roll UL Monroe in the opener and then at Vanderbilt in Week 2. They shouldn't have too much problem beating visiting South Carolina on Sept. 19 and then get a warm-up scrimmage vs. Southern ahead of the Tide.
That Alabama game starts the toughest stretch of the season for Georgia as it's followed by: at No. 25 Tennessee, vs. No. 24 Missouri and against Florida in Jacksonville. The Gators pounded the Dawgs last year. The slate concludes vs. Kentucky, at No. 6 Auburn, vs. Georgia Southern and at No. 16 Georgia Tech.
Clearly the Dawgs got hosed in their crossover schedule in having to face both Alabama and Auburn. So they could win every other SEC game yet still miss out on a trip to Atlanta if they lose both of those, which is quite possible. Missouri, by comparison, plays neither the Tide nor Tigers. Georgia has an "over/under" wins total of 9, with the over a -135 favorite.
As for the Colts, many believe they could be the top seed in the AFC playoffs this season with an easy schedule and the fact New England's Tom Brady, we think, will be suspended the first four games of the season. Indianapolis became Miami Hurricanes North this offseason in adding free-agent receiver Andre Johnson (Houston) and running back Frank Gore (San Francisco) as well as taking Hurricanes receiver Phillip Dorsett with its first-round pick. Dorsett has looked good in camp.
So clearly the Colts got plenty of toys for QB Andrew Luck to play with; I just worry that the defense was largely ignored. Indy might have to win a lot of 31-27 games or the like. As for that schedule, it's ranked as the second-easiest in the NFL with an opponents' combined 2014 winning percentage of .416. Pencil in five AFC South wins immediately: two vs. Titans, two vs. Jaguars and at home vs. the Texans. Maybe Houston can beat the Colts in Texas. The 2014 playoff teams on the Colts' schedule are: Week 6 vs. Patriots (Brady's season debut if suspension stands), Week at 8 Carolina, Week 9 vs. Denver and Week 13 at Pittsburgh. And this is a first-place schedule? Easy.
Here are the 5Dimes win totals for the Colts: 11.5 (over +148, under -168), 11 (-103/-117), 10.5 (-150/+130), 10 (-260/+220) and 9.5 (-314/+281). I'd give Indianapolis a ceiling of 12 and floor of 10, obviously assuming Luck stays healthy. I'd say Georgia's ceiling is 10 with a floor of 8. Thus this is an easy call for Indianapolis.
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