Georgia Season Wins O/U Bet

by | Jul 20, 2019 | cfb

Last year: 11-3

Over/Under Total: 10.5

Georgia just missed out on the College Football Playoff a year ago, but the Bulldogs did wind up with their second consecutive 11-win campaign under coach Kirby Smart. Can they make it three straight and make this bet hit, or will they take a step back?

Reasons for Optimism

Georgia has recruited better than anyone in the nation for the past three seasons, and now is the time that it should start to show. The place it’s actually going to show up is on the offensive line, where Georgia looks absolutely fantastic. The Bulldogs always run the ball well, and a line as experienced as this year’s Georgia line should have no trouble opening holes for whichever backs Georgia chooses to hand the ball to. By the same token, quarterback Jake Fromm should have all the time he needs to make the right decisions in the pocket and take the Georgia offense to the next level.

There’s also the fact that Georgia remains head and shoulders above the SEC East. Kentucky is unquestionably heading in the right direction, but the Wildcats remain far behind the Dawgs and have to visit Athens this year. Florida will never have to make the trip to Athens, but the Gators also look like their rebuild is well behind the already-built Georgia program. There doesn’t seem to be anyone who can challenge the Dawgs on their level in the SEC East.

More Season Win Picks: Mann’s Clemson Team Wins Pick

Reasons for Worry

Can Kirby Smart actually win a game in the Western SEC states? In three seasons, Smart has taken his Bulldogs to Mississippi, Auburn, and LSU for road games. The Bulldogs have lost all three of them and haven’t come within 20 points in any of those contests. Georgia’s jinx against the West is limited only to their road trips: they’ve been competitive with Alabama in both of their losses to the Crimson Tide, and they’ve beaten Auburn twice and Mississippi State when those teams have gone between the hedges.

But the schedule doesn’t have room for Georgia to fall victim to SEC West disease for a fourth consecutive season. In addition to their biennial trip to Auburn, the Dawgs also welcome Notre Dame to Athens this season, and the Irish figure to present a real challenge based on what they’ve done the past two seasons. So will Texas A&M, which improved quite a bit in Jimbo Fisher’s first year in College Station and will be salivating at the chance to ruin Georgia’s chances at the CFP if all things go according to plan for the Dawgs before that game.

Georgia’s other primary concern is that it’s going to replace two coordinators this season, as offensive coordinator Jim Chaney left for Tennessee and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is now the head coach at Colorado. No team has won the CFP with two new coordinators, and only Alabama in 2018 managed to do it with one new coordinator. Of course, Georgia doesn’t even have to make the CFP to win this bet, but it’s still a cause for worry.

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Toughest Game

Notre Dame is a massive challenge, but I’ve got to say the toughest test will actually be Auburn. Given Georgia’s struggles against the SEC West on the road, this game marks a massive mental block for Smart and his players. Georgia is going to need to win this game to have a realistic shot at the playoff, and the Dawgs have a disadvantage because the Tigers will have an extra week to prepare for them, while Georgia is playing Missouri the week before facing Auburn. If the Dawgs can get past that mental block, they should be on the front foot as far as hitting the over and making the playoff.

The Over Wins If:

Jake Fromm shows that he doesn’t need Chaney’s guidance and proves himself a master of the Dawgs’ offense in his third year under center. Georgia has invested a lot in Fromm, as Justin Fields is now in Columbus and Jacob Eason is in Seattle, leaving Fromm as the unquestioned man under center for the Dawgs. Fromm has to continue not beating his own team while making some big plays of his own. Georgia has traditionally been a run-first team, and the Dawgs averaged more yards per game on the ground than they did through the air last season. There’s nothing wrong with that if it works, but Fromm needs to show he can do more when a great run defense — such as LSU last season — puts the brakes on the Bulldogs’ rushing attack.

The Under Wins If:

Fromm can’t take that next step, and Georgia again falls victim to the SEC West disease. With 10.5 wins as the target, Georgia is allowed one mistake, and this year’s schedule puts two big land mines in Notre Dame and Auburn. Georgia is going to have to be at its best to take down the Irish, and if Georgia slips up, everything is going to be on the line when the Dawgs make the trip to Auburn. Georgia opens the year with a trip to Vanderbilt, which, while hardly overwhelming, isn’t the standard Week 1 gimme either. The Dawgs’ five-star recruits have to be ready to be college athletes from Day 1, or Georgia isn’t going to be able to hit its target this season.

Dan’s pick

Realistically, Georgia shouldn’t have any problems running through the first three contests on its schedule. The worry is the Notre Dame game, but the Dawgs get two breathers before facing the Irish and are playing Notre Dame at home. In fact, five of Georgia’s first seven games will be played between the hedges, with the eighth game coming in Jacksonville against Florida.

With only four true road games on the slate, this schedule sets up well for Georgia to go at least 11-1 and earn its third shot at Alabama in the SEC championship game, which doesn’t count as part of this bet. With no Alabama on the slate in the regular season — again — I can’t see Georgia losing more than once against this schedule. I like the Dawgs to get 11 wins and possibly 12 as they chase the title that’s eluded them so far.

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