NFL Georgia Bulldogs Win Total: o/u 10.5
No team in college football has been closer to cementing themselves on the national stage than the Georgia Bulldogs under Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs were one second half heroic performance by Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa away from hoisting the trophy in Smart’s second year and followed that appearance with two more SEC Championship game appearances.
Unfortunately for the Dawgs, they met Alabama and LSU teams that were setting national offensive records and had to settle for Sugar Bowl appearances.
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Clemson (9/4) Charlotte, NC:
No easing into the schedule for Georgia as they face off with perennial power Clemson right off the bat. The Tigers lose number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence and backfield mate Travis Etienne, but sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei looks ready to take over after starting two games in 2020. Brent Venables’ defense should steady Clemson early on, as defensive linemen Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy return after seeing the field early and often as freshmen.
Both teams enter the game ranked in the top five in the nation, and Clemson opens as the favorite at -3.5 (per Bovada). The play to watch for this game will be the under for total points. The number hasn’t been released across betting sites, but early season cobwebs and two strong defenses should make this game a grind it out type.
Florida (10/30) Jacksonville, FL:
Another neutral site game circled on the schedule for Georgia; this game has produced the SEC East representative in Atlanta for the championship game in the past six seasons and eight of the last ten. The Gators took down Georgia with their high-powered offense, but Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, and Kadarius Toney are all suiting up on Sundays this season.
Dan Mullen has found ways to get new quarterback Emory Jones involved in his first two seasons, and expectations are high for the junior signal-caller. The Dawgs will certainly be out for revenge in this heated rivalry, and a win here should pave the way to an SEC East division title.
The Georgia Bulldogs under Kirby Smart have largely mirrored the teams he helped coach early on as an assistant at Alabama. Stout defense with a strong running game behind a big offensive line. Oh, and they’re full of highly rated recruits.
Smart has landed top five recruiting classes in each of his full seasons as the head coach, so talent is not lacking throughout the roster. Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett IV gave Georgia stability at the position as great game managers but hardly gave the team the explosiveness to get by the top teams in the country. JT Daniels came on to the scene late in 2020 and showed promise for the offense heading into the current season.
Add in the stable of running backs behind him (Zamir White, James Cook, Kendall Milton), and Georgia has a chance to be as balanced as they’ve been under Smart. A spring ACL injury to wide receiver George Pickens hurts the receiving corp, but LSU transfer Arik Gilbert provides another elite athlete to take over some of those targets. Gilbert and Darnell Washington provide a two-tight end combination that is as good as any in the country.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs lose a great deal of production but have young pups waiting in the wings for their turn. Cornerbacks Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell were drafted in the top 35 picks in this NFL, safety Richard LeCounte is headed to the league as well and Tyrique Stevenson transferred to Miami (FL) following 2020, so the back end of the defense will have a full facelift outside of Lewis Cine.
Transfers Tykee Smith and Derrion Kendrick provide plenty of talent and experience to fill those gaps on the outside, and Kendrick will have game one circled against his former squad, Clemson. Nose tackle Jordan Davis decided to stay in school one more season and will provide an almost literal anchor in the middle of the defense. Replacing SEC sack leader Azeez Ojulari won’t be simple, but Georgia is hoping former number one overall recruit, Nolan Smith, is ready to make the jump and terrorize opposing quarterbacks.
Over 10.5 wins. Georgia can afford one loss and still hit this win total. Despite being the betting underdog in week one against Clemson, the game should prove to be close and a virtual toss-up. If the Dawgs can pull off the win in the opener, it’s hard to find two games on their remaining schedule that could end in losses barring potential injuries at key positions.
Georgia only plays four true road games during the regular season (Vanderbilt, Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia Tech). The three conference foes are all breaking in new coaching staffs and have suffered major losses in the transfer portal. The two biggest tests come in neutral site games, and if the Bulldogs can win one of the two this bet should hit without a hiccup.
Georgia SEC Conference Winner (+250):
The Dawgs are getting some juice here, having the second-best odds only to Alabama. For all of the reasons listed above, Georgia should have no issues making an appearance in the title game in Atlanta.
Despite having dropped six straight to the Tide (likely SEC West winner), Georgia has proven they’re able to play with the conference juggernaut. If Alabama slips up expect Texas A&M to represent the West, and in that case, expect Georgia to be the betting favorite.
Georgia National Championship Winner (+500 per BetUS):
Georgia carries the third-best odds to finish the season as national champions, and to get to that stage they will have likely played the two teams with better odds (Alabama, Clemson). An SEC Championship would find the Bulldogs in the playoffs, and if the team can find balance on the offensive side of the ball it may be the final push that Kirby Smart needs to bring a title back to Athens for the first time in 41 years.
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