Georgia Bulldogs Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
It took just two years for Kirby Smart to turn Georgia around and deliver as close to the season of fan's dream as you can without quite doing it - they lost the title game in overtime. Now comes an even bigger challenge. It takes a lot for a coach to go from 8-5 to very legitimate national finalist. It takes far, far more, though, to stay at that level year after year. Georgia lost six players in the draft, including three first-round talents, two of the best running backs to ever play at the school, and the bulk of their veteran leadership. At some schools that would be crippling. At Alabama it's just what happens every single year, and it just doesn't matter. They plug and play. Georgia wants to be that way, too. And this year they will see if Smart learned enough from his former employer to pull it off.
2017 in a Nutshell
It was when they won a very hyped and intense affair at Notre Dame in Week 2 that we got the hint that this was a different Georgia team than we had grown used to. Then they kept on winning, mostly against outmatched teams that they manhandled. They suffered their first dose of adversity on the season when they lost in a pretty big way at Auburn. But they rebounded nicely, swatting away Kentucky and Georgia Tech like pesky bugs and then getting some serious revenge over Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. Then they came out of top of Oklahoma in a semifinal Rose Bowl that was, by a wide margin, the best game played in college football last year. Double overtime, and more drama than any game deserves. And then they chased a starting quarterback at halftime in the title game and fell by only a field goal in overtime after one of the craziest Cinderella stories the sport has seen in the hands of freshman QB, and now Heisman favorite, Tua Tagovailoa. Not a bad year at all - especially if they can replicate it.
Key Additions and Departures
At quarterback, Jacob Eason, who started the opener last year but was injured and lost the job, has transferred to Washington. Depth is still fine, though. Sophomore Jake Fromm is back after starting last year and is a top Heisman contender. But before he can worry about that race he has to hold off Justin FIelds, the No. 2 quarterback in the class of 2018. At running back they lost two superstars in Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. D'Andre Swift takes over as the top option. He is a former five-star recruit who was the leading rusher in the SEC title game last year, so the team is still in good hands despite the losses. Top receiver Javon Wims is gone, but there are options aplenty behind him. And while the loss of tackle Isaiah Wynn in the first round of the draft hurts, they have a senior center, a good right tackle to shift over to the left side, and plenty of blue-chip talent to fight for the other spots. There isn't a glaring concern on offense. Some questions, but no major concerns.
The defensive line lacks real depth and has been their biggest recruiting weakness. They are fine for starters, but injuries would hit them hard. And all four starting linebackers from the playoffs are gone - none more important than Roquan Smith. They have some depth to draw on but are short of obvious future stars. And the secondary also took hits, losing three starters. They have more clear talent than at linebacker but again are short on depth.
There were several position coaches shuffled around and some brought in, but the important core of the staff is constant.
Biggest Area of Concern
I'm not suggesting we panic by any means, but the defense could have some issues if they don't get some breaks. There is a whole lot of change, some young guys will see important time, and they head into fall camp with a lot of questions and uncertainty. There is a good chance that it will all turn out just fine, but that isn't a certainty at this point.
Georgia Bulldogs Schedule Analysis
This team should get to 6-0 without too much sweat. At South Carolina and at Missouri are the two biggest tests on the first half of the schedule, and Georgia should clearly be the better team in both. And the second half shouldn't be too much tougher - aside from a home game against Auburn, that is. Florida always gets up to play Georgia, but they have a lot of work left to do. And I'm not particularly a believer in LSU this year despite their talent - though Baton Rouge is a very tough place to play. One loss will likely pop up somewhere along the way. If they get a second one, though, it would be a concern against this schedule - and likely a problem with the defense.
2018-19 Georgia Bulldogs Betting Odds and Trends
Georgia is the strong favorite to win the SEC East at Bovada at -180. Florida is the second choice at +450. The Bulldogs are the second choice behind Alabama to win the SEC at +300, though they are well behind the favorites. They are the fourth choice to win the national title at +850, behind Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. Jake Fromm is the fourth choice to win the SEC at +1000, with D'Andre Swift a long shot at +3300. The season win total sits at 10.5, with the "over" very slightly favored.
2018-19 Georgia Bulldogs Predictions and College Football Picks
I'm feeling pretty chalky when it comes to Georgia - they will win their division and lose the SEC title game in a season that feels like the most top-heavy the SEC has been in a while. Playoff participation will be out of their hands and depends upon how other conferences - most notably the Big Ten and Big 12 - turn out.
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