Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor Pick
No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. No. 7 Baylor Bears (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS)
AllState Sugar Bowl Prediction
Date/Time: Wednesday January 1st, 2020. 8:45PM (EST)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, L.A.
Point Spread: UGA -7.5/BAY +7.5 (BetNow - Deposit $100 to $1000 and get a MASSIVE 50% REAL CASH Bonus!)
Over/Under Total: 41
For the 2nd straight year, the Georgia Bulldogs have earned a trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl after falling in the SEC Championship Game with a potential playoff berth on the line. Instead of seizing the opportunity, the Bulldogs fell to top-ranked LSU 37-10 in an embarrassing, offensive performance. Head Coach Kirby Smart received some heavy criticism following the loss for Georgia’s lack of production in big games, and perhaps the Bulldogs will have an opportunity to change that sentiment when they meet the no. 7 Baylor Bears in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in what promises to be an intriguing match-up.
The Bears also failed to capitalize on their opportunity to win a conference championship in a 30-23 overtime loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game. However, Baylor made some big moments, including two explosive plays in the passing game of 78 and 81 yards. The Bears clearly played above their expectations, covering the 9.5 point spread and will be in another similar situation in this Sugar Bowl match-up as more than a touchdown underdog against another high profile opponent. Baylor has found a way to cover five straight games and owns an impressive 9-4 mark ATS. However, this Georgia team stylistically will provide one of their most difficult match-ups of the season.
Defenses expected to shine in Sugar Bowl
In case you missed it, the Allstate Sugar Bowl is tied with the New Mexico Bowl (Central Michigan vs. San Diego State) for the lowest total of any postseason match-up at just 41 points. The Bulldogs have owned one of the best defenses in college football throughout the season, yielding only 12.5 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the FBS. Meanwhile, Baylor has been tremendous on the defensive side of the football as well in a predominantly high scoring conference. The Bears have held opponents to just 19 points per game this season.
Despite several big plays on offense in the Big 12 Championship Game, it was the play of the Baylor defense that was surprising as they held Oklahoma’s dynamic offense to just 23 points through 60 minutes of play to force overtime. The Bears have repeatedly proven to be a very tough pass defense, and their defensive front generates a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks with 3.31 sacks per game, which is good enough for 10th in the FBS. If you consider Georgia’s big game problems on offense and relatively one-dimensional running threat, this is not an overly imposing match-up for Baylor’s defense. The Bears have been more susceptible to the run compared to the pass, but they have been strong defensively either way. Consider the struggles of both offenses and the talent on the defensive side of the football; this 41 point total is listed accurately.
AllState Sugar Bowl Betting Prediction
At first glance, Baylor appears to be a live dog in this match-up judging by their body of work this season and Georgia’s inability to win big games by anything other than a small margin. However, I must admit that I hate the way Baylor matches up against Georgia. The Bulldogs run defense is truly elite. The Sooners were able to put Baylor into obvious passing situations, and the offense was able to deliver on a few big plays. However, QB Charlie Brewer is not an elite-level passer, and Georgia’s defense will expose that fact. I will also add that as of today, it is not guaranteed that Brewer will play in the Sugar Bowl match-up after suffering a concussion in the Big 12 title game. Brewer has plenty of time to clear the concussion protocol, but Head Coach Matt Rhule said Brewer’s availability is “uncertain.”
Backups Gerry Bohanon and Jacob Zeno looked awful off the bench in the Big 12 title game. If Brewer is unable to go, the spread should immediately go to double-digit points. Even with Brewer playing, I still think the match-up favors Georgia in a big way. Despite the Bulldogs troubles on offense, QB Jake Fromm is still good enough to provoke scoring opportunities. There is a good chance that star running back D’Andre Swift sits out in preparation for the NFL Draft, which obviously hurts Georgia’s big-play potential. However, I still think this offense has the tools to capitalize on their opportunities behind Fromm and backup tailback Brian Herrien. Aided by a dominant defensive effort, I expect the Bulldogs to get the job done and pull away in the 2nd half.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Georgia -7.5. This is a great game to throw into a teaser! Find college football teasers from 5 to 20 points at 5Dimes Sportsbook. They also offer -105 reduced odds football (basketball too!) betting which will save you TONS of cash! Click here to register!