Georgia vs. Kentucky Odds
|Georgia Odds||-14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Kentucky Odds||+14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-714/+490 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||42.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET|
Georgia had a week off to recover from its loss to Alabama before heading to Lexington this week to try to get back on track against Kentucky.
The Wildcats lost in an incredibly boring game against Missouri in their most recent outing and now face the rested Bulldogs in what is sure to be a dogfight (pun intended) between teams with stout defenses.
Kentucky has lost 10 consecutive games to Georgia by an average margin of 19.5 points.
The Bulldogs’ offense had expectations of taking a big step forward this season under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Georgia started its season with two highly regarded quarterback options in graduate transfer Jamie Newman from Wake Forest and former five-star recruit JT Daniels from USC.
Instead, the Bulldogs have relied on former walk-on Stetson Bennett as their guy. Through the first three games, “The Mailman” delivered Georgia three wins behind 230 yards passing per game, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Bennett struggled mightily against Alabama, though, completing just 57.3% of his passes and throwing three interceptions.
Overall, the Georgia offense has been much of the same as it has been the past couple of years. It heavily relies on a dominant offensive line, ranking in the top 20 in Line Yards, Stuff Rate, Sack Rate and Havoc allowed.
The Bulldogs’ offense is nothing flashy, but it still averages 418.5 yards and 33 points per game, having eclipsed 400 total yards in its past three games. With an impressive defense, that’s often all its needs.
Last season, the Georgia defense finished first in the nation in points and yards per carry per game, as well as third in total yards per game. This year, it returned 80% of its defensive production and has been just as dominant, ranking as the No. 1 defense in the country, according to SP+.
The Dawgs have allowed just 318.5 yards and 19.5 points per game, with one of those four games coming against Alabama. Excluding Alabama, Georgia has allowed just 12.3 points and 236 yards per game. It has given up less than 300 total yards in each of its first three games as well.
Once again, Georgia is dominant against the run. Last season’s unit that ranked first against the run surrendered just 74.9 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per attempt. Well, somehow, it got even better this year, conceding a paltry 65.5 yards per game and 2.2 yards per attempt on the ground.
Needless to say, that doesn’t bode well for a team that exclusively relies on the running game (like, let’s say, Kentucky, for example).
If you did not watch last week’s game between Kentucky and Missouri, you missed a perfect opportunity for an afternoon nap.
In one of the most lopsided box scores I have ever seen, Missouri ran a total of 92 plays compared to just 36 for Kentucky.
To put that into perspective, Missouri running back Larry Rountree III had more carries (37) than Kentucky had total offensive plays. The Wildcats managed just 145 total yards of offense and went three-and-out in four of their nine possessions.
Just like the past couple of seasons, the Kentucky calling card has been its running game. The difference is the Wildcats no longer have a future NFL player like Benny Snell or a do-it-all superstar like Lynn Bowden.
After leading the nation with 6.4 yards per carry last season, the Wildcats now rank 33rd with a 4.7 average. While Kentucky’s 183.8 rushing yards per game is solid and ranks 34th in the country, it was held to 95 yards on the ground against Missouri and faces the best run defense in the country this week.
If Georgia takes away the run, can Kentucky successfully move the ball down the field through the air? That seems unlikely, no matter which quarterback is under center.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops announced Thursday that Joey Gatewood will make his first start at quarterback for the Wildcats. Gatewood is just 2-for-5 passing for 18 yards this season, amassing a total of 13 career pass attempts to go along with 40 rushing attempts.
Kentucky has been held under 300 total yards in three of its five games this season, and it was held under 200 in two of those games.
Despite its lackluster offense, Kentucky was still able to win two of those games, thanks to a defense that ranks 30th in total defense and 21st in scoring defense.
For Kentucky, its recipe for success is easy. The defense needs to force turnovers to win. In the Wildcats’ two wins, they have forced a total of 10 turnovers. In their three losses, they have come up with a grand total of zero.
Last week, Missouri was able to protect the ball and go 10-for-20 on third down and control the game. Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak went 21-of-30 for 201 yards through the air, being met with little resistance. The Tigers also did it on the rushing attack, racking up 220 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Kentucky’s strength is running the football, and it has one of the best offensive lines in college football. The only problem is that Georgia boasts one of the best defensive lines in the nation, defending the run better than anybody by allowing just 65.5 rushing yards per game.
In the past two weeks, the Bulldogs suffered a loss and were idle, while watching Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame all make big statements. That said, look for Georgia to come out motivated to do the same against Kentucky this week.
Georgia had a week off to work out some of the kinks in its offense and has to make sure everything clicks heading into the Cocktail Party with Florida next week.
Under head coach Kirby Smart, Georgia is 7-3 ATS after a loss and 5-2 ATS after a bye. The Dawgs have dominated Kentucky as of late, and this one-dimensional Wildcats’ offense is going to struggle to move the ball.
Take the Bulldogs over the Wildcats.
Pick: Georgia -15 (up to -17)
Pick: Under 61.