Georgia vs. Auburn
Betting Line: Auburn -8.5 o/u 66
What's the best way for the Georgia Bulldogs to find some meaning in a 2010
season where they currently stand at 5-5 with no chance of playing in a
significant Bowl game? Knocking off the undefeated Auburn Tigers would certainly
do the job.
The Bulldogs are playing good football as their young QB has
progressed and star WR AJ Green has returned to the field. Auburn will have to
be careful and not look past Georgia. They play Alabama the following week.
This game opened up with the Tigers as a 9.5 point favorite, but since then they have been lowered to 8.5 across the board. Auburn has problems with LB Daren Bates, and CB T'Sharvan Bell who are doubtful due to a shoulder, and hamstring injury, respectively. WR DeAngelo Benton is questionable due to an ankle problem. Georgia doesn't have any new injury problems.
The Georgia Bulldogs are 3-1 in their last 4 games ATS. Auburn is also 3-1 in that stretch. The head to head battle between these teams has witnessed the Bulldogs win the last four in a row. Georgia has had great success on the road, and overall, against Auburn for HC Mark Richt.
Freshman QBs experience all sorts of ups and downs. Bulldogs QB Aarron Murray is without a doubt a future star, but he experienced one of his worst games against the Gators two weeks ago. He passed for 3 TDs, but it was ultimately his 3 INTs that did his Bulldogs in. On the year he has passed for 2,317 yards and 18 TDs. His stats would be better if not for the absence WR AJ Green in the early part of the year.
Green is widely considered the best WR in the nation. Despite missing a large chunk of 2010, he has compiled 510 yards and 7 TDs. RB Washaun Ealey will be a big factor for UGA. They need to get 20-25 carries from him. He played huge to score a whopping 5 TDs against Kentucky, but has been largely ineffective against everyone else. Auburn has proved that they can slip up against the run and this would be a prime time for the sophomore to have a "coming out" party.
The Auburn Tigers offense is powered by QB Cameron Newton. The JuCo transfer fuels every scoring drive. He is a prime candidate for the Heisman Trophy, but recent controversies about agents and cheating at his former school (U of Florida) could mean his mind isn't in the right place. Auburn cannot afford for him to play a bad game. If he comes out and looks shaky the Bulldogs will sharks in the water on defense. Luckily for Auburn fans, Newton has played out of his mind all year and even a small drop off would mean he is still playing at a very high level.
The Georgia Bulldogs have fared well on defense. They rank 23rd in the nation in Points Against and are allowing a meager 19.4 PPG. They have given up 31 points on three different occasions, but by and large this defense can keep up with strong offenses. Cameron Newton will present a very unique challenge. It's tough to gauge how they will respond.
Auburn's defense is nothing to get excited about. They allowed Arkansas to score 43 points with their back up QB playing the majority of the game. The Tigers gave up 31 to a downright awful Ole Miss team. They are 55th in the nation in Points Against at 24.3 PPG.
This game pits a team that is vastly talented and undefeated against one with nothing to lose.
Here are a few reasons why we like Georgia here. 17-14, 27-24, 35-27, 37-34 and 24-17. Those are the scores by which Auburn defeated other "good" teams this year. Their one win over a good team by more than a touchdown came against Arkansas in a game in which Arkansas led in the 4th quarter. Now, this is in no way meant to diminish what Auburn has accomplished this year. This is a good team. Heck, they are undefeated and they play in the SEC. Damn near impossible. They have caught some breaks along the way for sure. Everything is going their way this year. It's just that this is not a dominant team. They are not beating good teams by two touchdowns. Their opponents are always in the game.
It's a dangerous game for Auburn. Alabama on deck. A Georgia team with nothing to lose. The Bulldogs are pointing to this game as a means to salvage a very disappointing season. Many picked Georgia to be on top of the SEC this year, but it wasn't to be. A string of 4 losses in a row back in September put a damper on this season. They have since won 3 out of 4 and almost knocked off the Gators, losing in overtime. So we know this team can play with the big boys.
Georgia's yards per point numbers on offense are as good as Auburns at roughly 12, which means both of these teams can move the ball and make use of their yards. Defensively, the Bulldogs numbers are a point better than Auburn's. Georgia's defense is 13th against the run and they'll get to put that ranking to the test in trying to stop Newton. The Bulldogs are +7 in turnover ration to Auburns +4. Lastly, Georgia has beaten Auburn 4 straight.
The number on this game, at +8.5, is attractive to us. With the way Auburn has won this year, several close, shootout type games, and with Georgia's ability to move the ball and put points on the board, we have to bite here. Having Alabama on deck for Auburn, and the fact that Georgia is pointing to this game as a means to salvage the season, not to mention still needing a win to become bowl eligible, seal the deal.
3* Georgia +8.5 over Auburn