Kentucky Wildcats at Georgia Bulldogs Expert Picks with Odds and Predictions
I don't know if any team in the country has a tougher task than the Georgia Bulldogs this week. And it has very little do to with playing Kentucky.
Georgia has to pick itself up off the mat this week after getting floored 40-17 at Auburn last week. The Bulldogs were the No. 1 team in the country heading into that game. But their national title hopes took a major shot, and now Georgia has to regroup and try to refocus against an opponent that is a step down in class.
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Kentucky will either be a punching bag or another potential spoiler when they take on Georgia at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Athens. The Bulldogs have been installed as a dominating 21.5-point favorite , and the total in this game 50.5.
Kentucky at Georgia Betting Storylines
This game has lost a little bit of its luster due to the fact that Georgia has already clinched the SEC East. But Kentucky is still trying to make a statement by knocking off one of the SEC's most prominent programs. At 4-3 the Wildcats are currently a half-game behind South Carolina for second place in the SEC East. If they could climb that mountain it would be the school's best league showing in over 35 years.
Further, with one more victory this season Kentucky will reach eight wins for the first time in many years. If they can find a way to win two games they would reach nine victories for the first time since 1984.
However, the odds are that they aren't picking up one of those victories this week.
Georgia may have had its bubble burst a bit last week by taking that shellacking in Auburn. But the Bulldogs are still one of the best teams in the country and a legit Top 10 squad. Georgia's defense has been one of the best in the nation this year and is currently No. 5 in college football in total defense, rushing defense and points allowed (14.5 per game). The Bulldogs are No. 10 in the country in pass defense.
Offensively, the strength of this Bulldogs attack has been a dominating running game ranked No. 10 in the nation. But Georgia's rushing game was completely shut down last week, managing a woeful 46 yards on 32 carries.
Kentucky's defense doesn't have anywhere near the talent that Auburn's D possesses. However, if Kentucky has done one thing well this season it has been stop the run. They are ranked No. 20 in the country in rush defense while allowing 121 yards per game.
Part of the reason that Kentucky's rush defense has been so good is because teams have done nothing but throw the ball against its No. 121-ranked pass defense.
Jake Fromm, Georgia's freshman quarterback, will attempt to bounce back from one of his worst games as a starter. Fromm has not been asked to carry this UGA offense at all this year and has tossed for more than 202 yards just one time on the season. After watching what Auburn did to the Bulldogs, I will expect Kentucky to be aggressive in loading the box and daring Fromm to throw the ball.
Kentucky is coming off perhaps is best game of the season, a 44-21 thrashing of Vanderbilt on the road. The Wildcats scored 34 unanswered points to turn a 21-10 deficit into a rare blowout for a team that hadn't led by more than 14 points in any game this season.
Kentucky at Georgia Odds and Betting Trends
Georgia is a 21.5-point favorite as of Wednesday afternoon. But that spread has actually come down from an opening of 23.5. That movement is despite the fact that Georgia is taking two-thirds of the betting action in this game. The total has also dropped from 52.5 to 50.5.
Georgia is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams. That includes last year's 27-24 win. Also, Kentucky is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven trips to Athens.
For all its success on the field, Kentucky is just 1-5 ATS in their last six games and 1-4 ATS in their last five SEC games. The Wildcats are a solid 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. But they are just 2-5 ATS after a win and just 2-7 ATS after a win by three touchdowns or more.
The Bulldogs have been an excellent bounce-back team, going 5-1 ATS in their last six games after a loss. But Georgia is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games and they are just 1-3 ATS in their last four games after a 5-1 ATS start to the season.
The 'over' is 5-1 in Kentucky's last six SEC games and the 'over' is 4-1 in both Georgia and Kentucky's last five games overall. The 'under' is 9-4 in Kentucky's last 14 road games and the 'under' is 20-7 in Georgia's last 27 games against a team with a winning record.
Kentucky at Georgia Predictions and Picks
A wager in this game comes down to one key question: bet on emotion or bet on raw numbers? The statistics all point toward another Georgia blowout. Kentucky was routed 45-7 at Mississippi State in their toughest road game of the season. And despite their impressive-looking record, the Wildcats have been outgained in all but two of their games this season. Kentucky has played an easy schedule and been barely beating those teams.
Georgia could still be in a daze after losing to Auburn. And only three of the last 10 meetings between these teams have been decided by three touchdowns or more. But this is the final home game for Georgia's seniors, and I think that the home crowd will inject the Bulldogs with a lot of emotion. Georgia is clearly the better team in this game, and they have been laying waste to inferior SEC opponents all year. I think the Bulldogs rushing game will get back on track and I look for the UGA defense to rebound with an impressive effort to lead to another lopsided victory.
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