Georgia Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Pick ATS
When: Saturday, September 25, Noon
Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
TV: SEC Network
Point Spread: UGA -35.5/VANDY +35.5 (WagerWeb - You can make the Dawgs a -15.5 favorite by inserting them into a GIANT 20 point college football teaser only found here!)
Total: O/U 53
It’s been a long and depressing run through the SEC meat grinder for Vanderbilt, and it doesn’t look like things are getting any better anytime soon for the Commodores. Vanderbilt enters as losers in 13 consecutive SEC contests and has been double-digit underdogs in each of its last 14 league games. It’s not for nothing, as Vandy didn’t come close to winning most of its games last year in an 0-9 campaign. The Commodores only came within double digits three times last season, losing five games by 25 points or more.
And things could have been even worse for the Commodores because they never played Georgia last season. That game was canceled because of COVID issues, and a win for the Bulldogs could have given them a chance to share the SEC East with Florida. The Bulldogs appear to be a lot stronger than they were a year ago, in large part because their defense has been lights out. Georgia has given up just 23 points on the season in three games, and one of the two touchdowns given up came with the game long over against South Carolina. With Vandy having lost to East Tennessee State, do the Commodores even have a chance in this one?
How the Public is Betting the Georgia/Vanderbilt Game
The public is riding with Georgia in this one in a big way, as 71 percent of all tickets have come in on the Dawgs, and the line has pushed up accordingly, as Georgia’s spread has jumped from -33.5 to -35.5. The total has risen as well, going from 51 to 53.
Tight end Darnell Washington (foot), wide receiver Arik Gilbert (personal), wide receiver Dominick Blaylock (knee), defensive back Tykee Smith (foot), and wide receiver Arian Smith (leg) are questionable. Offensive lineman Tate Ratledge (foot) is out for the season, and wide receiver George Pickens (knee) is out indefinitely.
Tight end Ben Bresnahan (lower body) is questionable. Running back Re’Mahn Davis (toe) is out for the season.
When Georgia Has the Ball
J.T. Daniels has now firmly established himself as the main man in Athens, and the Georgia offense is better for it. Now, the question for the Bulldogs is whether they can give him a running game to complement the passing attack. Daniels had no problem torching South Carolina for 307 yards and three touchdowns, but that was also against one of the weakest defenses in the SEC. The Gamecocks proved so overmatched that the Bulldogs didn’t even need to worry about establishing a ground game, as none of Georgia’s running backs had more than ten carries.
Despite that, Georgia still rolled up 184 yards on the ground and shouldn’t have many issues against a Vanderbilt defense that couldn’t keep Stanford from scoring 41 points. Even if Georgia’s offense does stall out, its defense means that the Bulldogs likely don’t need more than a couple of scores to get a victory.
When Vanderbilt Has the Ball
The one good thing that came out of the Stanford loss was Rocko Griffin getting established on the ground because Vanderbilt is now down its top running back after losing Re’Mahn Davis for the season. Griffin had no problem going through the Stanford defense, but he’s likely to find the going much tougher against a Georgia defense that has given up an average of 70.3 yards per game.
Unfortunately for the Commodores, Ken Seals hasn’t really shown that he’s ready to get the job done against a decent defense, let alone a top-quality SEC defense. Vanderbilt only managed 151 yards through the air against Stanford, and 31 of that came after Seals had left the game, with the Commodores’ offense going absolutely nowhere. Considering that this is an offense that managed just three points against East Tennessee State, it’s challenging to see Vanderbilt finding a way to move the ball much against Georgia.
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One of the problems with betting on powerhouse teams is they often give so many points that they end up backdoored at the end, which is exactly what happened to Georgia in a 27-point win over South Carolina when the Bulldogs were favored by 33.5. In fact, Georgia does better on the road simply because it isn’t giving quite as many points, as the Bulldogs are 20-8 ATS in their past 28 road games but 2-5 ATS in their past seven SEC games.
Meanwhile, Vanderbilt playing at home usually ends up a disaster for Commodores bettors, as they’ve covered just once in their past seven home games. Vandy is usually a bad bet in September because the Commodores spend the first month of the season playing against lesser teams and losing to them, which leads to losses on the spread as well as the money line. Over their past nine September games, Vandy is just 2-7 ATS.
As far as the total is concerned, Georgia’s defense has caused several low totals, leading to the over actually hitting in five straight SEC games for the Bulldogs. The Commodores are again the opposite, as their poor offense usually comes in well under the number, leading to the under-cashing in four of five overall.
With clear skies in the forecast, this should be a great day for football in Nashville, with temperatures pushing into the low 70s and almost no wind to speak of, as wind will only blow at five miles per hour.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
The bet I want most is Vanderbilt under its team total, as I think the Commodores are going to struggle to do anything against Georgia. I can’t see Vandy getting more than a touchdown here against a Dawgs defense that is likely steamed that it allowed one to South Carolina, but the big question is whether Kirby Smart keeps his foot on the gas long enough for Georgia to cover the spread.
Given that it’s now five touchdowns with a hook, I think the line’s been pushed just a bit too far for my taste. Give me Vandy to keep the spread just under the hook here. Have you seen the “college kid bonus” offered at at Intertops Sportsbook? Details: Signup through this special link, deposit $25, go to their special promotions page and add in bonus code ROOKIE200 and $50 will be added to your account balance INSTANTLY! A sweet bonus from the oldest sportsbook on the internet!