Georgia Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Week 1 Pick
Georgia Bulldogs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
When: Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN
TV: SEC NETWORK
Point Spread: DAWGS -21 / VANDY +21 (Bovada)
Power Ratings: N/A
Takeaways From The 2018-2019 Season
The Bulldogs come into the season as the consensus No. 3 team in America and touted by many as an outfit the most likely suspect to dethrone Alabama and Clemson from the pinnacle of college football. UGA finished 11-3 in the 2018-2019 season after losing a heartbreaker to the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship followed by a let-down loss against Texas in the Sugar Bowl. Nevertheless, recruiting and returning talent has created skies the limit vantage for the Bulldog Nation in 2019-2020 season as they are loaded with quality on both sides of the ball.
The Commodores closed out the 2018-2019 season with a loss to the Baylor Bears in the Academy and Sports Outdoors Texas Bowl where they were defeated 45-38 in a shootout. Coach Derek Mason led Vanderbilt to a 6-7 finish as a result but is optimistic that his program can take a step forward in 2019 with some stand-out talent on his offense, most notably bell-cow rusher Running Back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Vanderbilt also sports a likely 1,000-receiving yards/10 reception touchdown candidate in Kalija Lipscomb lining up at Wide Receiver. The potential for Vanderbilt to feature a well-oiled and balanced offense is potent.
How the Public is Betting The Georgia-Vanderbilt Game
At the moment, 74% of the consensus fancy the Dawgs here laying the three touchdowns to the hosts Vanderbilt. This market opened with UGA spotting 20.5 points to the Dores, but the line has risen already by half of a point thanks to the public lean on the Bulldogs.
Georgia and Vanderbilt are both members of the SEC East and as a result, have a historic rivalry that convenes on an annual basis. The Dawgs have won the last two meetings after the Dores shocked the Dawgs in Athens in 2016 by a score of 17-16. Last year, the Dawgs went to work on the Commodores in Athens avenging the loss with a 41-13 thrashing of Vanderbilt. UGA covered a lofty 26-point line while doing so.
Both teams will be fielding full squads for this opening conference clash between both sides.
Both teams have been cash cows in conference play, so something has to give here. The Dawgs have covered in their last four SEC fixtures while Vandy has been flawless against the spread in their previous five SEC outings.
Why We Like The Dawgs To Cover
The Dawgs have built up an Alabama-like status in the SEC East as they have ruled that division with an iron fist over the last two seasons. In fact, the Dawgs have not lost a game against any division foes in the preceding two campaigns. While this may actually inflate the number next to Georgia’s name, that has been a null point as the Bulldogs as mentioned have been profitable against the spread most notably in conference play. Of the four games mentioned in their present cover streak, two of those include East foes. Moreover, this is the best team that the Dawgs will field top-to-bottom certainly in recent history.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Georgia -21
There is a nickname for the Georgia Bulldogs offensive line: The Great Wall of Georgia. Behind this physical and dominant front, I expect the Dawgs to implement a steady dose of the run game and carve up Vanderbilt’s front-seven. The Bulldogs have produced four different 1,000-yard rushers in the previous two seasons; Nick Chubb and Sony Michel in 2017 and Elijah Holyfield and Deandre Swift in 2018. Swift, who is also known as “Seven” is back in the fold to lead RBU’s illustrious set of running backs behind perhaps the nation’s best offensive front. I expect Seven to have a big game but also think there will be significant contributions made by Senior Brian Herrien and also Zamir “Zeus” White who is finally cleared from back-to-back season-end injuries that had plagued him back to his senior year in high school when he committed to UGA as a five-star running back. They will get a chance to feast on a Vanderbilt rushing defense that finished 94th against the run in 2018, surrendering 194.7 rushing yards per game who also returns just four starters. This game is a clear-cut mismatch, and the Bulldog Nation will take full advantage of it. I am laying the points here and expect Georgia to cruise in its conference opener.
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